BRATTLEBORO, Vt. — The Keene, N.H., man charged with involuntary manslaughter for the death of his wife is fighting for medical records that may shed light on the circumstances.

Almost a year after Debbie MacKinnon, 52, died while reportedly on her way from Keene into Brattleboro in a car with her husband, Ronald MacKinnon, Ronald MacKinnon was indicted in Vermont on charges of involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment.

The charges against Ronald MacKinnon, 71, however, were brought under a secret grand jury and little is known about the alleged incident that took place on Sept. 9, 2018, though glimpses of what may have happened are now coming into focus though court actions.

A motion recently filed in Vermont District Court in Brattleboro by Ronald MacKinnon’s attorney, Brian Marsicovetere, indicates that Debbie MacKinnon died from an opioid overdose.

“A review of the grand jury proceeding in this matter makes clear that the factual basis for the charges concerns whether Mr. MacKinnon failed to act quickly enough in bringing his wife for medical attention when she allegedly experienced a narcotic overdose,” the motion states.

Lawyers for Brattleboro Memorial Hospital want a Vermont judge to quash Ronald MacKinnon’s subpoena seeking access to Debbie MacKinnon’s medical records. The hospital maintains that under Vermont law it cannot release the records to Ronald MacKinnon, as he is not a legal representative for his deceased wife.

Ronald MacKinnon’s counter motion to have the hospital hand over the records states that Debbie MacKinnon’s cause of death according to the state autopsy is “acute fentanyl intoxication.”

Ronald MacKinnon’s motion states that his wife had been to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital several times prior to her death, including for previous drug overdoses. He wants the records to show her alleged history of drug use and general physical health before her death, according to the motion.

Ronald MacKinnon has engaged his own medical examiner in the case to review all of the records and autopsy reports, according to the motion.

The MacKinnons were reportedly driving into Vermont to visit Ronald MacKinnon’s adult daughter in Brattleboro when Debbie MacKinnon died.

Monday, January 27, 2020