A local tree trimmer facing multiple criminal charges has now been accused by the Essex County State’s Attorney’s Office with felony obstruction of justice.
Makenzie J. Laverty, 27, of Bloomfield, pleaded not guilty to the charge in Essex Superior Court on Friday and was released on conditions by Judge Thomas Devine.
According to court documents, Laverty was caught on a recorded jail house phone conversation in June attempting to convince one of his alleged victims — his mother — to drop the charges against him and not show up to court as a witness.
Essex Superior Court
“Go drop your f****** charges so I can f****** get out of here,” said Laverty to Debra Laverty, 56, in the recorded conversation, according to police.
“I don’t think it’s my charges that are keeping you in there,” responded Debra Laverty.
Laverty, who police say is a drug addict, was later released from jail, but Essex County State’s Attorney Vince Illuzzi has now filed a motion to revoke Laverty’s right to bail due to continued allegations of misconduct.
“Defendant is a danger to the public,” wrote Illuzzi in his motion. “He continues to access and use fentanyl, even after it was raised as an issue … In order to do so, he may be leaving the curfew residence to obtain it, and in the past, his funding source for drugs has been theft of property and home improvement fraud.”
Laverty’s curfew residence is at his mother’s house.
Laverty was charged with home improvement fraud earlier this year and two counts of grand larceny for allegedly stealing from his mother and her boyfriend while living at his mother’s house.
Police say Laverty was hired in August of 2020 by an Essex County couple to cut down two trees near a shed on their property. But four months later the job still wasn’t done even though the couple had already paid Laverty $3,500.
Laverty has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
If convicted of the obstruction charge, he faces a possible sentence of up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.