News Minute: Here is the latest Massachusetts news from The Asso - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

News Minute: Here is the latest Massachusetts news from The Associated Press at 9:40 p.m. EST

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BOSTON (AP) - Three former guards at a Massachusetts facility that treats the mentally ill in the state criminal justice system have been acquitted of charges in the 2009 death of an inmate with schizophrenia. Inmate Joshua Messier suffered heart failure when the guards forcefully strapped him to a bed. A judge said Monday that the defendants' "conduct" did not constitute wanton and reckless disregard for Messier's life. The guards had faced charges including involuntary manslaughter.

BOSTON (AP) - A man has been convicted of killing of a young woman who was raped and suffocated in her Boston apartment more than two decades ago. A jury found 45-year-old James Witkowski guilty Monday of first-degree murder. He faces a mandatory life term when he's sentenced Thursday. Prosecutors said the formerly homeless Witkowski killed 21-year-old Lena Bruce in her home in 1992. Witkowski's lawyer argued there's no evidence that puts Witkowski in the apartment at the time of the killing.

BOSTON (AP) - The federal trial of two Boston mayor aides accused of pressuring music festival organizers to hire union workers has been pushed back. Court records show the trial of Kenneth Brissette and Timothy Sullivan on extortion and conspiracy charges is set for March 26. It was previously scheduled for Jan. 8. The defense had asked for a delay last week, saying they need more time to prepare after prosecutors modified the indictment in the case.

BOSTON (AP) - Gov. Charlie Baker is pushing back against a critical audit of Massachusetts' child welfare agency. In a letter Monday to employees of the Department of Children and Families, the Republican governor says it was "irresponsible" for Democratic Auditor Suzanne Bump to rely on data that was two or three years old and ignore recent improvements made by the agency. Bump called the letter a "political statement" by Baker.

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