(NECN: Scot Yount, Woburn, Mass.) - The former chemist accused of faking test results at a Massachusetts drug lab was back in court Wednesday as part of a series of arraignments in several different counties.
"How do you plead, guilty or not guilty," asked a clerk in Norfolk Superior Court.
"Not guilty" replied defendant Annie Dookhan in a hushed voice.
She is at the center of a law enforcement scandal that has triggered a tidal wave in the Commonwealth's justice system.
The former state chemist, 35-year-old Annie Dookhan, is accused in a 27 count indictment of lying on the witness stand about her credentials and manipulating drug evidence that could affect thousands of criminal cases, mostly in Suffolk County.
On this day, Dookhan appeared in Norfolk Superior Court, her third of what could be six arraignments in six counties. She pleaded not guilty to essentially lying on the witness stand about her chemistry education.
"Ms. Dookhan, you are being released on your own recognizance," said the clerk.
The arraignments outside Suffolk County come as the Boston Globe is reporting that Dookhan's husband Surren Dookhan texted a Norfolk County Prosecutor a warning two years ago.
One of the texts read in part:
"This is Annie's Husband do not believe her, she's a liar, she's always lying. She is looking for sympathy and attention."
Dookhan appeared in Middlesex earlier in the day.
"Given that she has posted $10,000 cash in Suffolk County, the Commonwealth would only ask that the conditions of her release here be personal, and that she abide by the conditions in Suffolk County," said Assistant Attorney General John Verner.
Over in Chelsea, prosecutors in Suffolk County allege that an arrest there Tuesday is emblematic of the widespread upset the case has caused. Twenty-six-year-old Jonathan Vaughan was arrested, allegedly claiming he had gotten out of jail on Annie Dookhan and wasn't going back. He was then arrested for possession of crack cocaine.
Dookhan, who has appeared in court with her husband by her side in the past, was accompanied only by her father.
Neither spoke a word to a wave of news cameras as they left Middlesex Superior Court or Norfolk Superior court.
Unless her attorney agrees to consolidate the cases, she still must appear in Bristol, Plymouth and Essex counties to face similar charges in each