Man Accused of Selling David Kennedy Cocaine Given Probation
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ Drug charges would never have been brought against two former bellhops if David Kennedy hadn’t been involved, lawyers and family members said when one defendant pleaded no contest.
Kennedy, 28, son of assassinated U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy, was found dead in his Brazilian Court Hotel room on April 25, 1984. An autopsy revealed that he died of an overdose of cocaine and prescription drugs.
″If you were to take away the name of David Kennedy, no one would have even been in court for this,″ said Assistant State Attorney Pablo Perhacs. ″That’s the only reason the present case has any interest.″
″This wouldn’t have happened except for the Kennedy name,″ agreed Elinor Dorr, mother of David Linwood Dorr, who pleaded no contest Monday to conspiracy to sell cocaine. He was sentenced to 18 months of probation.
Circuit Judge Richard Burk also agreed to withhold judgement in Dorr’s case. If Dorr completes his probation successfully, he will not have the conviction on his record.
″I’m relieved,″ Dorr said after entering his plea. ″I feel like the whole world is off my shoulders.″
Another charge, sale of cocaine, was dropped as part of the plea bargain. Conviction on that charge would carry a mandatory 15-year prison sentence.
The charges against Dorr and fellow hotel bellhop, Peter Andrew Marchant, were the only ones to surface during an intensive 13-month investigation into Kennedy’s death. In May, prosecutors announced the end of their probe into possible evidence tampering at the hotel.
Dorr’s plea came after Circuit Judge John Born had rejected a similar plea last June offered to Dorr and Marchant. Born was hospitalized with an intestinal illness last week and Burk took over his hearings Monday.
Dorr may testify against Marchant, who is scheduled for trial in February.
After the plea hearing, Dorr’s family expressed relief that the case was over.
″It’s been a terrible time, it’s been pure hell,″ said Dorr’s mother.
Added his attorney, Joseph Balliro: ″It’s been an ordeal. Not only for the Dorr family. But also for the Kennedy family. Now I hope David Kennedy can rest in peace.″
As for Dorr, he said he will return to his parents’ home and a job in West Yarmouth, Mass.
″I can’t afford to live anywhere else,″ Dorr said. ″My life’s a mess right now. I’m trying to get it back together.″