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Two arraigned in wake of student death

An MIT senior and a recent graduate have pleaded innocent to charges tied to illegal drugs and paraphernalia discovered in the East Campus dorm room where Richard A. Guy II died on August 31.

Mr. Guy's death was accidental, caused by asphyxiation resulting from nitrous oxide intoxication, according to the Middlesex County medical examiner. His funeral, held September 4, was attended by many from MIT (see story on page 6).

Susan Mosher, a senior in brain and cognitive sciences, and Rene Ruiz (SB 1999), were arraigned on September 10 in Cambridge District Court.

Ms. Mosher and Mr. Ruiz, both 22, were released on personal recognizance and ordered to appear in court October 15. Cambridge District Court Judge Severlin Singleton said they cannot return to the MIT campus without a police escort and cannot leave Massachusetts without court permission.

The charges brought against Ms. Mosher and Mr. Ruiz involve conspiracy and four counts of possession with intent to distribute psilocybin, amphetamines, marijuana and nitrous oxide. They were also charged with possession of a hypodermic and cruelty to animals. The combined charges carry a maximum penalty of more than 20 years in prison.

Neither Ms. Mosher nor Mr. Ruiz has commented on the case. Ms. Mosher is not currently enrolled as an MIT student and has not returned to the MIT campus.

President Charles M. Vest spoke specifically about the death of Mr. Guy and generally about the toll taken by drugs on college campuses at a news conference at MIT on September 3.

"I met Richard Guy when he was a freshman. He was not only bright, but was a talented baseball pitcher. He struck me at that time as a very personable young man. We crossed paths a couple of other times in subsequent years, and I once received a thoughtful and friendly note from him. He had recently dropped out of school for a time to be with his father, who was battling a terrible cancer back home in California.

"My brief earlier acquaintance with him makes this tragedy painfully real. And it is a grim reminder of so many other needless deaths throughout the country, every year, of young people who foolishly involve themselves with drugs," he said.

President Vest spent about an hour with Mr. Guy's parents, Richard and Janet Guy, on September 2 at MIT. Their meeting was private and confidential, President Vest told reporters.

MIT Police Chief Anne Glavin announced to the media at the news conference that Ms. Mosher and Mr. Ruiz would face drug-related charges.

"The MIT Police Department Investigations Unit has been investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Guy. As a result of our investigation, we have been able to shed light on illegal drug use that existed within the living group at East Campus and quite likely beyond," Chief Glavin told reporters and cameramen.

"During the course of this investigation, we consulted with the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office and we received some assistance at various stages of the investigation from the Cambridge Police Department Drug Unit. This investigation is not complete and it will be continuing," she added.

Counseling resources will continue to be available to East Campus residents and others in the MIT community.

A version of this article appeared in the September 15, 1999 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 44, Number 5).

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