AP NEWS

New Canaan dad denied parole for son’s overdose death

January 2, 2019

STAMFORD — A former New Canaan man in jail for giving his son the heroin that led to his overdose death was denied parole on Wednesday.

Mark Lynch, 58, was sentenced to three years in prison in late 2017 but was granted a parole hearing about a year into his sentence.

Lynch was charged with second-degree manslaughter, possession of narcotics and illegal distribution of hallucinogenic narcotics after the death of his son, 25-year-old Chris Lynch, who had battled an opioid addiction.

According to police, the elder Lynch gave his son heroin in 2016 after Chris traveled to New Canaan for a court appearance. At the time, Chris was living with his mother, Pam Bacco, in Colorado and had begun to turn his life around, attending frequent therapy sessions and staying clean for nine months.

Nonetheless, Chris quickly relapsed once he met up with his father, who had originally introduced him to heroin. The same night he reunited with his father, Chris fell asleep and never woke up. Police found white, frothy vomit on the pillow under his head near his mouth.

On Wednesday, Bacco pleaded with the Connecticut Board of Pardons and Paroles to deny Lynch’s parole request. She called through a teleconference system to the hearing, which took place in Enfield.

“Instead of telling his own son to stay away from him — because he himself was not well and he would seriously endanger his son’s recovery and treatment — (Mark) did the exact opposite,” she said.

Bacco said Mark deserved to spend the entire sentence in jail, followed by seven years of parole, even though she was disappointed with the lenght of the original sentence. Lynch faced a 10-year maximum potential sentence if he was convicted at trial of second-degree manslaughter, but accepted a deal for three years.

“I have spent the last two years with the heartbreaking grief that Christopher will never come home, that he will forever be 25 and never get to live the life he had worked so hard to take control of again,” Bacco said. “(It was) all taken away from him because his own father wanted a best friend to get high with.”

In her son’s memory, Bacco has helped raise over $5,000 for Shatterproof, a New York-based organization that advocates for prevention, treatment and recovery for substance abuse.

“I miss my son more than words can say,” Bacco said. “Christopher will always be my hero, I will always be proud to be his mom.”

Bacco said she hopes Lynch does not have another chance at parole before his sentence is complete.

“For me to have to continue to relive what lead up to his death and to have to even think about Mark Lynch reopens the huge hole in my heart that I am so desperately trying to heal so that I can honor my son and find the peace that I know Christopher wants me to find,” she said.

AP RADIO
Update hourly