EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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April 2, 2013

Hale says he's too sick to be in court

LAWRENCE — Saying he is ill with cancer and has a blood clot, retired Lawrence police officer William Hale, who is accused of stealing nearly $70,000 from an elderly woman, is trying to get court dates postponed due to sickness.

On April 11, Hale is scheduled for criminal arraignment on larceny and forgery charges in Lawrence District Court. Tomorrow, Hale is also expected to appear in Boston before the state’s appeals court.

Hale is accused of stealing from the late Elizabeth B. Lacey, a woman known to friends and surrogate family members as “Aunt Betty.”

Late last week, however, Hale, 77, submitted a doctor’s note and motion to the state appeals court asking for a 30-day delay “due to grave cause.”

The 33-year police veteran said he was diagnosed with cancer late last year, has been undergoing chemotherapy treatment for three months, has been hospitalized three times, and was recently diagnosed with a blood clot that makes walking difficult for him.

Hale attached a note from his physician Dr. Vartan Yeghiazarians who said in his “best medical opinion” he feels Hale should be excused from the appeals court appearance tomorrow and his April 11 arraignment.

“Mr. Hale is still recovering from his hospitalization and also developed thrombosis of his lower leg as a result,” Yeghiazarians wrote in the letter dated March 26. He said Hale has a follow-up appointment with him on April 11 and they will reassess his condition then.

Hale was previously represented by attorney John Hodges, who died last summer. Reached for comment yesterday, Hale said he “wasn’t sure” if he would hire a new lawyer. He confirmed he’s been sick and hospitalized for the past several months, thanked a reporter for calling to inquire about his health and declined further comment.

In Lawrence District Court, Hale is charged with uttering, forgery and larceny over $250. The thefts and forgery Hale is accused of occurred between May 3, 2007 and Sept. 5, 2007.

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