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2010 Press Release Archive

May 13, 2012

Fitchburg Man Guilty of Assaulting Lunenburg Officer

December 15, 2010

WORCESTER — Kevin Baldwin, 25, 230 Mechanic St., Fitchburg was found guilty last week of assaulting a Lunenburg police officer and resisting arrest after a jury trial in Central District Court.

Lunenburg Police Officer Omar Connor who tried to arrest Baldwin on May 5 suffered serious neck and arm injuries and is still out of work.

Judge Steven E. Thomas sentenced Baldwin to a total 5 years in the Worcester County House of Correction. He was sentenced 2 ½ years for assault and battery on a police officer and 2 ½ years for resisting arrest. The second sentence will begin after he finishes the first sentence. Thomas gave Baldwin credit for the 219 days he spent in jail awaiting the outcome of his case. He also was found guilty of disorderly conduct and was fined $150.

The charges stem from an encounter between Lunenburg

Police and Baldwin at about 10 p.m. on May 5 outside Ixtapa Restaurant on Massachusetts Avenue in Lunenburg. Police had tried to arrest him on two outstanding warrants and he fled the scene on foot. He was arrested the next day in Fitchburg by Fitchburg and Lunenburg officers.

As Connor prepared to put Mr. Baldwin in a police cruiser, Baldwin pushed Connor and ran across the parking lot. Connor caught Baldwin at the edge of the lot near a 15-foot-tall wall. They both fell off the wall with Connor landing on the ground face first causing serious injury.

Officer Connor is expected to return to work in Lunenburg sometime in 2011.

Wife was Murdered by Husband in Westborough

November 19, 2010

WESTBOROUGH – A man murdered his wife and then killed himself according to preliminary reports from the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. said today.

The autopsy of Rebecca A. Bibart, 41, of 27 Thomas Newton Drive, showed that she died of “sharp force injuries to the neck” and “blunt force trauma to the head.” The manner of death is homicide. The autopsy report on Richard “Todd” Bibart, 43, of the same address, will be delayed pending the results of toxicology tests.

“Domestic violence continues to take a horrific toll on our society,” Mr. Early said. “There are many, many victims and now these two small children are victims too.”

The Westborough Police Department had been called to

the home shortly before 4 p.m. yesterday to do a well being check. A neighbor had found a note affixed to the front door directing the children to stay outside and to call the police.

Mrs. Bibart was found in the finished basement of the home while her husband was found in an upstairs bedroom. The initial investigation revealed the couple was going through a divorce and the family home was for sale.

The couple’s two young children were not home during the incident. They have been placed in the custody of the state Department of Children and Families.

State Police Detectives assigned to the Worcester District Attorney’s Office and Westborough Police are continuing to investigate.

Authorities Investigate Apparent Murder/Suicide

November 18, 2010

WESTBOROUGH – A husband and wife were discovered dead today in their home in an apparent murder/suicide, according to Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early, Jr.

Richard “Todd” Bibart, 43, and Rebecca A. Bibart, 41, were found dead in their home at 27 Thomas Newton Drive. The Westborough Police Department had been called at about 4 p.m. to do a well being check. A neighbor found a note affixed to the front door directing the children to stay outside and to call the police.

Mrs. Bibart was found in the finished basement of the home while her husband was found in an upstairs bedroom. The initial investigation revealed the couple was going through divorce and the family home was for sale. The couple’s two small children were not home during the incident. They have been placed in the custody of the state                       

Department of Children and Families.

The state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has accepted the case and will conduct autopsies.

State Police Detectives assigned to the Worcester District Attorney’s Office, State Police Crime Scene personnel and Westborough Police are investigating.

Death of Football Player a Tragic Accident

November 16, 2010

WARREN – The death of a 16-year-old junior varsity football player yesterday appears to be a tragic accident after a preliminary investigation, according to Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Michael Ellsessar, 16 of 30 Dudley St., Sutton was hit during the opening moments of the games and collapsed on the field yesterday afternoon at Quaboag Regional High School. State Trooper Joseph Hilton, who happened to be officiating the game, rushed to the player’s aid and performed CPR until an ambulance arrived.

Mr. Ellsessar was transported to Baystate Mary Lane Hospital in Ware where he was later pronounced dead by Dr. Roger LaFleur at 4:55 p.m. The State Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has accepted the case and will determine the cause and manner of death.

“This is truly a tragedy,” Mr. Early said. “This young man died while playing a game. My heart goes out to the Ellsessar    

family. This is every parent’s worst nightmare.”

Mr. Ellsessar was playing for the Oxford junior varsity football team in a game against Quaboag. Students from Sutton who want to play football play for the Oxford Team Sutton does not have a football program.

The investigation is continuing.

Milford Man Arraigned on Child Pornography Charges

November 12, 2010

MILFORD – Acting on a tip from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), State Police Detectives arrested a Milford man on child pornography charges, according to Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Robert A. Diduca, 46, of 23 Hancock St., pled not guilty today two counts of possession of child pornography and one count of dissemination of child pornography in Milford District Court. Judge Janet McGuiggan set bail at $5,000 and continued his case to Jan. 7.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations contacted the Worcester District Attorney’s with a potential child pornography case. One of the origins of the investigation was an image of boy, under the age five, whose diaper has been opened to expose his genitalia. The investigation, which included work by Milford Police, led to Mr. Diduca.

“The cooperation in the investigation is tremendous,” Mr. Early said. “This is a particularly disgusting crime and any time we can put a dent in the dissemination of child pornography, it’s a good day for law enforcement.”

Early forensic searches of Mr. Diduca’s computer storage devices turned up about 10,000 images of young children. There also are videos of young children engaged in sexual acts.

“Every time an image of child pornography is viewed, an innocent child is exploited,” said Matthew J. Etre, deputy special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Boston. “This arrest in Milford should serve as a warning to other would-be child predators. Identifying and investigating those who victimize children is one of the most important responsibilities we have, and that is why ICE HSI will continue working aggressively with our federal, state and local partners on these types of cases.”

The investigation is continuing.

State Police Investigate Report of Body in Woods

November 10, 2010

WESTMINSTER – State Police Detectives continue to investigate the reported sighting of a dead body in Leominster State Forest near Route 31, according to Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

A hiker reported seeing a male body on a trail in the state forest at about 9:30 a.m. today. The report was passed on to the State Police and a search began. The State Police K-9 Unit, State Police Airwing, Westminster Police, Princeton Police and the state Department of Conservation and Recreation personnel aided the search this afternoon. By night fall the search was called off with no evidence of a body discovered. The investigation is continuing. 

A Ton of Marijuana Seized; Two Men Charged

November 5, 2010

WORCESTER – More than a ton of marijuana was seizedand two men were arrested yesterday after a multi-agency investigation, according to Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Adam Frantz, 28, of 811 Chase Road, Lunenburg, was charged with Trafficking in a Class D Controlled Substance (approximately 2225 pounds); School Zone Violation; and Conspiracy to Violate the Controlled Substance Law. He pled not guilty today in Worcester Central District. He was ordered held on $100,000 bail by Judge Bethzaida Vega. He is expected back in court on Dec. 3.

Ryan Gravlin, 28, of the same address, was charged with Trafficking in a Class D Controlled Substance (approximately 2225 pounds); Conspiracy to Violate Controlled Substance Law; and Possession of a Firearm. He pled not guilty today in Fitchburg District Court. He was order held on $50,000 bail by Judge Elliott L. Zide. He is expected back in court on Nov. 16.

“This is law enforcement at its best,” Early said. “A lot of hard work and cooperation went into this effort. We’re focused on using all available resources to keep our communities safe.”

“Keeping drugs off the streets is one of the most important missions of law enforcement since drug smuggling and the resulting damage from drug abuse tears at the very fabric of our communities,” said Bruce Foucart, special agent in charge of the Homeland Security Investigation office in Boston.

The investigation began Wednesday when an individual was encountered driving a tractor trailer truck  

at the Lewiston Bridge, in Lewiston, NY. The load was inspected and found to contain approximately 225 pounds of marijuana amongst a cover load of televisions and woven fabric.

The load of marijuana was then driven in the company of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents out of Buffalo, N.Y. to its intended destination, 150 Blackstone River Road in Worcester.

On Thursday night, the Massachusetts State Police Detectives assigned to District Attorney’s Office along with ICE, federal Drug Enforcement Agency and Detectives from the Worcester Police Department then conducted a controlled delivery of the 225 pounds of marijuana to an individual later identified as Frantz.

With the marijuana in the bed of his gray pick up truck, Frantz headed north. Eventually State Police, Community Action Team and K-9 Troopers stopped the vehicle on Reservoir Road in Lunenburg. As a result of that motor vehicle stop, Frantz was arrested.

A subsequent search of Frantz’s home in Lunenburg revealed about 2,000 pounds of marijuana, packaging materials, scales, ledgers, numerous cell phones, about $100,000 and a small firearm. Gravlin was arrested at Frantz’s home.

The State Police Detectives assigned to the Worcester District Attorney’s Office, ICE’s Homeland Security Investigation, Customs and Border Protection, the DEA, Worcester Police Department and Lunenburg Police Department assisted in the investigation which is continuing.

Cause of Woman’s Death Under Investigation

October 22, 2010

LEOMINSTER – A 33-year-old woman was found dead in her Columbia Street apartment late last night, according to Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

The state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner performed an autopsy today and determined that there were no obvious signs of trauma. The cause and manner of death are pending a toxicology report.

Megan Cucchiara, 33, of Apartment 5, 15 Columbia St., was found dead on her bathroom floor by Leominster police officers after they responded to a 911 call shortly before midnight last night.

Ms. Cucchiara’s boyfriend Andrew S. Shinsky, 40, of the same address became unruly with police at the scene and was arrested for assault and disorderly conduct. He was arraigned today in Leominster District Court and held on a violation of probation. Judge Mark E, Noonan set $5,000 bail on the new charges and ordered Mr. Shinsky sent to       

Bridgewater State Hospital for a mental health evaluation.

Mr. Shinsky had a history of domestic violence. He was most recently arrested in August for an attack on Ms. Cucchiara. He was released from jail Thursday after an appearance in Leominster District Court. He was placed on probation after pleading guilty to assault and battery on a police officer and resisting arrest. Charges of attempted murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (knife), assault and battery, witness intimidation and threatening to commit a crime were dismissed.

State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office and Leominster detectives are investigating the death.

Murder Suspect’s Body to be Exhumed in Alabama

October 6, 2010

TUSKEGEE, Ala. – The investigation of an unsolved murder in 1992 has led investigators from the Worcester Police Department and the Worcester District Attorney’s Office to seek the exhumation of a body from an Alabama cemetery, according to Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Working in cooperation with District Attorney E. Paul Jones of the Fifth Judicial Circuit in Alabama, Worcester Detectives will have the body of James Earl Johnson exhumed from Ashdale Cemetery. A DNA sample will be extracted from the body to compare it with DNA from an unsolved murder and two unsolved rapes in Worcester.

“I want to thank District Attorney E. Paul Jones for his help in making the exhumation possible,” Mr. Early said. “His efforts will provide the Massachusetts investigators with the evidence that we hope can close several horrible cases and bring a measure of closure to the victims’ families.”

Mr. Johnson lived Worcester for 15 years in the 1980s and ’90s.

On December 11, 1992, firefighters battling a blaze in an abandoned building in Worcester found the corpse of Denise Comeau. An autopsy showed that she was strangled before the fire burned her body. Forensic evidence was recovered during the autopsy and was preserved.

As part of a special effort to solve long unsolved crimes, the male DNA recovered with Ms. Comeau’s body was compared with male DNA from two rapes during the 1990s. In one of those rapes Mr. Johnson was identified as a suspect but he was never arrested for the crime. The DNA match implies that the man who committed the rapes also killed Ms. Comeau.

“This is solid detective work by everyone involved,” Mr. Early said. “While it is science that provides the key links in these cases, it was the perseverance and determination of the Worcester detectives that brought us to this point.”

In 2007, when some of the DNA analysis occurred, the statute of limitations for one the rapes was about to expire. To keep the case alive, the District Attorney’s Office presented evidence of the rape to the Worcester County Grand Jury. That presentation led to an indictment of a John Doe who was linked to the DNA.

Both rape victims have since died and Mr. Johnson died in 2008 at age 61.

State Lab Confirms Substance is Sodium Cyanide

September 14, 2010

MILFORD – The crystalline substance recovered from the scene of an apparent suicide of a 30-year-old Milford woman is sodium cyanide, Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early announced today.

The substance, found inside a zip-lock plastic bag in the woman’s purse, was tested yesterday by the state Department of Public Health. Tests confirmed the substance to be 161 grams of sodium cyanide. Other physical evidence suggests that the deceased woman had drunk some orange juice that was mixed with an additional quantity of the cyanide. She was found dead on Sunday morning.

The investigation also confirmed that the deceased was employed at a Northeastern University laboratory, and that, in her position, she would have had access to sodium cyanide.

Although the investigation has not been able to conclusively determine that the cyanide found at the scene was taken from the Northeastern lab, neither can it rule out that possibility. Absent additional evidence, the source of the cyanide will remain unknown with complete certainty.

However, based on all other factors known to investigators, the strong possibility remains that the substance was accessed by the victim through her employment.

The investigation has found no areas of contamination and no other persons have become ill or showed symptoms consistent with cyanide exposure or ingestion.

The investigation is continuing led by the State Police Detectives assigned to the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office and assisted by the Milford Police Department, the Northeastern Police Department, the Transit Police, the Department of Public Health and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

This investigation has focused on events related to the victim’s apparent suicide. Its goal is not to determine the adequacy of regulations governing storage of hazardous materials at Northeastern University laboratories.

An autopsy has been conducted by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The Worcester District Attorney’s Office will announce the cause and manner of death after it receives the autopsy report.

Worcester ADA Named Prosecutor of the Year

June 10, 2010

WORCESTER – Assistant District Attorney Lawrence J. Murphy was one of four prosecutors honored today at the 16th annual conference of the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association, Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early announced today.

“Over the past 32 years, Larry has dedicated himself to the increasingly difficult task of marshalling evidence and convincing juries of the guilt of dangerous criminals,” Mr. Early said. “He has done it with both passion and compassion. He has been firm, but he has been fair. He has always been the consummate professional.”

The conference was held today at the College of the Holy Cross, where Mr. Murphy earned his bachelor’s degree and where he was an outstanding hockey player. Mr. Murphy, who received his law degree from Suffolk

University, has made murder prosecutions the hallmark of this career.

Among Mr. Murphy’s more noteworthy victories was his successful prosecution of Joseph L. Druce who brutally murdered convicted pedophile John Geoghan. Given the unflattering notoriety of Geoghan and Druce’s status as a lifer in prison when he killed Geoghan it was no small chore to keep the jury focused on the real issue. Mr. Murphy accomplished that with impeccable skill and achieved a first degree murder conviction.

“Larry doesn’t over complicate a case,” Mr. Early said. “His straightforward, common sense style is unintimidating and pleasing to juries. It gives juries a level of comfort that allows them to tackle the tough issues with confidence and they usually see it Larry’s way.”

Child Rapist Sentenced to 40-45 Years in Prison

July 1, 2010

WORCESTER – A Leominster man, who pled guilty in Worcester Superior Court to child rape and child pornography charges, was sentenced today to 40 to 45 years in state prison, according to Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Juan R. Nazario, 34, of 29 Pleasant Place, Apartment No. 6, had been indicted on 10 counts of rape of a child with force; 11 counts of posing a child in a state of nudity; 15 counts of photographing an unsuspecting nude person; 18 counts of possession of child pornography; and one count of indecent assault & battery on a child under 14.

“This self-described monster has now been taken off the street,” Mr. Early said. “He will be placed behind bars, where he belongs, for a very long time.”

The investigation began last summer when a relative found

pictures of a nude young girl on Mr. Nazario’s cell phone. State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office and Leominster Police Detectives investigated. Armed with three separate search warrants, the detectives found many more pictures and videos of young girls in Mr. Nazario’s possession.

Some of the videos showed Mr. Nazario participating in sex acts with the young girls.

Mr. Nazario also kept a diary in which he included details of how he abused his victims.

Detectives identified 25 victims. Some of the victims, who were drugged by Mr. Nazario, have no memory of the attacks. None of the victims was in court today for the change in plea.

Pedestrian Killed on I-495

June 14, 2010

WESTBORO – A man was killed early today in the southbound lane of on I-495 near Exit 23B (Route 9), according to Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

State Police troopers working a detail on the highway discovered the body at about 5:25 a.m. It appears the deceased man, in his 40s, was a pedestrian and was struck by a motor vehicle while in the highway. The man’s identity has not yet been released because his relatives have not been informed of his death.

State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office are asking for the public’s help with the investigation. Anyone traveling on I-495 in the overnight hours that may have seen something unusual is asked to call the State Police at 508-832-9124. The investigation is continuing.

Office Returned Fire in Defense of Fellow Officer in Westminster Shooting Death

July 8, 2010

WESTMINSTER – The State Police have completed an investigation into the shooting death of an armed man outside his home last fall. The Westminster Police Officer involved in the case acted in defense of a fellow officer pinned down by gunfire, according to Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office conducted the investigation into the Oct. 25 shooting of Michael A. Membrino, 49, outside his home at 235 Minot Road. Mr. Membrino, who was wearing body armor and carrying a .357 revolver, was pronounced dead at 10:54 p.m. that day at Henry Heywood Hospital in Gardner.

The state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said Mr. Membrino died of gunshot wounds to his legs which included the “perforation to the Femoral Artery and Vein.”

“Based on this thorough investigation by the Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office, the Westminster officers responded with a level of force that was appropriate given Mr. Membrino’s actions,” Mr. Early said.

Fitchburg Police were first alerted to the potential danger posed by Mr. Membrino in a telephone call at 7:44 p.m., Oct. 25 from a bartender at Partner’s Pub in that city. The bartender reported that Mr. Membrino had made threats against a woman on his cell phone and had pulled a

handgun from his pants and slammed it on the bar. Mr. Membrino left the bar and the bartender provided police a registration number and a description of his vehicle.

Westminster Police dispatched Officer Ralph LeBlanc at 7:52 p.m. to 235 Minot Road to look for the vehicle and to perform a wellness check on Mr. Membrino’s wife Phyllis Membrino, 41. At that address Officer LeBlanc found Mr. Membrino wearing body armor and armed with a handgun.
Mr. Membrino was ordered to drop his weapon, but he refused and told the officer to shoot him. At one point, Mr. Membrino removed the body armor and fired several shots while still trying to provoke Officer LeBlanc, who had not fired his weapon. Westminster Police Sergeant Edward Robbins then arrived and took a position next door.

After putting the body armor back on, Mr. Membrino fired more shots in the direction of Officer LeBlanc. Sgt. Robbins then fired several rounds from his patrol rifle. Mr. Membrino appeared to have been hit, but he called to police that he was “going to get my AK” referring to another weapon.

The police officers lost sight of Mr. Membrino at this point. Gardner and State Police units were called in and eventually the State Police Air Wing discovered the body of Mr. Membrino near the front entrance of his home.

Holden Man Arraigned on Child Porn Charge

June 8, 2010

HOLDEN – Based on a cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, State Police Detectives assigned to Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. have arrested a Holden man on child pornography charges.

Edward Rabb, 31, of 12 Sandy Glen Drive pleaded not guilty to charges of distribution of child pornography and possession of child pornography in Leominster District Court today. He was held on $2,500 bail and his case was continued to Thursday.

State Police Detectives contacted Rabb last week and seized his home desktop computer. A forensic preview of Rabb’s computer revealed the presence of child pornography. On Monday, Rabb turned himself into the State Police Barracks in Holden.

Skull is That of Woman Missing Since 2006

April 16, 2010

HOLDEN – A human skull discovered on the evening of April 3, off of Reservoir Street has been identified as Tyra Wilkerson
(12-6-73) of Norwood, according to Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

The identification was made by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner based upon examination of medical and dental records. Ms. Wilkerson had been reported missing to authorities in Norwood in August of 2006.

“We hope the identification will bring some measure of closure to Ms. Wilkerson’s family. We will now move forward in attempting to determine the circumstances surrounding her death”, Mr. Early said.

The investigation is being conducted by State Police Detectives assigned to the Office of the District Attorney and the Holden Police Department. They are being assisted by the Norwood Police Department.

Public Asked to Help Identify Person From Found Skull

April 13, 2010

HOLDEN – Investigators working on the case of a human skull found in the woods near Holden Reservoir are appealing to the public for help, Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. said today.

The skull was discovered by a jogger in the woods off Reservoir Road in the early evening of April 3. The state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has been studying the skull.

“It appears the skull belonged to a black female between 25 and 45 years old,” Mr. Early said. “The person we are trying to identify appears to have suffered a brain aneurism. A subsequent craniotomy was performed to treat the aneurism. A bone flap is removed from the skull during this type of surgery.”

The investigation, headed by the State Police Detectives assigned to Mr. Early’s office,

has determined the surgery was performed between 2003 and 2010.

“Anyone who has knowledge of a missing person who would have had similar characteristics, should contact the Massachusetts State Police Detectives, Sergeant James S. Nanof or Trooper Gerard A. O’Malley at 508-832-9124,” Mr. Early said.

Skull Found in Holden Woods

April 6, 2010

HOLDEN – A human skull was discovered Saturday night by a jogger in a wooded area of town, according to Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office and the Holden Police and various units of the State Police were searching the area today. The search is expected to continue this week.

“We’re looking for any other human remains that might be in those woods,” Mr. Early said. “We do not want to identify exactly where the skull was found because of the ongoing nature of the search. I anticipate we will have more to say later this week.”
The state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is now working to identify the skull. The investigation is continuing.

No Charges in Marblehead Fatal Accident

March 17, 2010

MARBLEHEAD – No charges will be brought in an August motor vehicle accident that claimed the life of 15-year-old Alessandra Castner, Worcester District Joseph D. Early Jr. said today.

“After a thorough investigation that included dozens of interviews, a forensic analysis of the driver’s Blackberry and a state police collision reconstruction, the conclusion is that the accident was unavoidable,” Mr. Early said. “With no evidence to establish the commission of a crime, no charges will be brought.”

Mr. Early was asked to assume the investigation by Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett to avoid any potential or perceived conflict of interest.

The accident happened shortly before 7 p.m. on August 24 near 262 Pleasant St. Thomas Larivee, now 19, of 4 Sunset Road, Salem was driving westbound when his vehicle, a Volvo S70, struck Miss Castner of 76 Roosevelt Ave., Marblehead.

Miss Castner sustained a serious head injury and was transported to Salem Hospital by ambulance and subsequently airlifted to Boston Medical Center. She arrived at BMC at approximately 7:53 p.m. Miss Castner was pronounced deceased at 11:52 p.m.

According to the autopsy, which was performed by Dr. William Zane at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Boston, the cause of death was blunt trauma with skull fractures/brain lacerations and the manner of death was accident.

After the accident, Mr. Larivee pulled his vehicle to the edge of the westbound side of the road and stopped approximately 111 feet west of the crosswalk that the Miss Castner was within when she was struck by the vehicle.

“Other than the victim and Mr. Larivee, no other eye witnesses to this accident were identified,” Mr. Early said. “The first person on the scene was a driver who was traveling in the eastbound lane, which is the opposite direction that Mr. Larivee was traveling.”

This witness stopped, rendered first aid to Miss Castner, and her son called 911.

Mr. Larivee also called 911. In his statement to police he said he never saw the victim prior to striking her. He said he was  

traveling approximately 25 to 30 M.P.H. when he heard a “thump” and then saw the victim going over his vehicle. State Police collision reconstruction calculated the Volvo’s speed at 21 M.P.H. at the time of impact.

Police at the scene determined that Mr. Larivee was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol through field observations at the time of the accident. Those observations were confirmed by a preliminary breath test that revealed no alcohol in his system.

Mr. Larivee’s Blackberry was forensically analyzed by the State Police Crime Lab. The analysis revealed that there were no incoming or outgoing calls or text messages at the time the accident occurred.

Dr. Zane and Dr. John Parker, from the medical examiner’s office, said the victim was struck on the left side of her body. This opinion was consistent with the victim crossing the street from the westbound side to the eastbound side.

State Trooper John Bibeau conducted a forensic collision reconstruction to determine the cause of the accident. Based on all available data –including Mr. Larivee’s estimate of his speed and Trooper Bibeau’s calculation of Larivee’s speed at the time of impact — the collision reconstruction revealed that the victim was about 8 feet into the crosswalk when she was struck. Trooper Bibeau determined that Miss Castner was in the road for about 1.35 seconds and that Mr. Larivee had a perception/reaction time of 1.5 seconds.

Perception/reaction time is defined as the time it takes an operator to see, recognize and decide to take action to avoid a dangerous situation. Perception/reaction time, as so defined and applied to collision reconstruction, does not include the time required to actually make an evasive maneuver or the time required for a vehicle to come to a stop after the brakes are applied.

“Trooper Bibeau, who has conducted more than 500 collision reconstructions in 13 years, concluded that the driver did not have enough time to recognize a person in the crosswalk and react,” Mr. Early said. “Based on the trooper’s analysis and the evidence available, this tragic accident was unavoidable.”

Brother and Sister Indicted in Shrewsbury Murder

March 16, 2010

SHREWSBURY – Siblings Keith Rosiello and Lisa Ricardo were both indicted yesterday on murder charges in connection with the beating death of Rosiello’s wife, according to Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

The Worcester County Grand Jury handed up murder indictments for Keith Rosiello, 44, of 32 Deerfield Road, Shrewsbury and Lisa Ricardo, 38, of 106 Wilbur St., Raynham.

Rosiello’s wife Maureen Rosiello, 44, was found dead in their home after he placed a 911 call to Shrewsbury Police on February 4. He had told police that he had an altercation with his wife and that she was not breathing. The state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner reported that Ms. Rosiello died of “blunt force trauma of head, torso, and extremities, with injuries of skull, ribs, vertebra, brain, lung and liver, and extensive

soft tissue hemorrhage.” The manner of death is homicide.

Ms. Ricardo, who had been free on bail after being charged last month in Westboro District Court with being an accessory after the fact of murder, was indicted for murder and two counts of reckless endangerment of a child. She was arrested yesterday in Raynham and she will be arraigned today in Worcester Superior Court.

Keith Rosiello, who has been held without bail since he was charged with murder last month in Westboro District Court, was indicted for murder and two counts of reckless endangerment of a child. His arraignment in Worcester Superior Court has not yet been scheduled.

Victim in Shrewsbury Murder Suffered Massive Injuries

February 23, 2010

SHREWSBURY – The victim of a domestic attack in her home earlier this month sustained extensive internal and external injuries before she died, according to Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

The state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner reported that Maureen Rosiello, 44, of 32 Deerfield Road died of “blunt force trauma of head, torso, and extremities, with injuries of skull, ribs, vertebra, brain, lung and liver, and extensive soft tissue hemorrhage.” The manner of death is homicide.

The victim’s husband, Keith Rosiello, 44, of the same address was arraigned February 5 on a charge of murder in Westboro District Court. Judge Paul S. Waickowski entered a not guilty plea on behalf of Mr. Rosiello and ordered him held without bail at the Worcester County House of Correction in West Boylston. He is scheduled to be back in court on March 22 for a pre-trial conference.

Mr. Rosiello’s sister, Lisa Ricardo, 38, of 106 Wilbur St., Raynham, was charged with being an accessory after the fact of murder and two counts of child endangerment. She       

posted $20,000 bail after her arraignment in Westboro District Court on February 8. She is scheduled to be back in court on March 22 for a pre-trial conference.

Mr. Rosiello was arrested February 4 after he called the Shrewsbury Police Department to report that he had an altercation with his wife and that she was not breathing. Shrewsbury Police Officers and Firefighters who responded to the single-family home discovered Maureen Rosiello deceased.

The Rosiellos have two children ages, 12 and 6. The children are now in the custody of the state Department of Children and Families.

State Police Detectives assigned to the Worcester District Attorney’s Office and Shrewsbury Police Detectives are continuing the investigation.

Sister of Suspect in Shrewsbury Murder is Arrested

February 5, 2010

SHREWSBURY – The sister of a man accused of murdering his wife was arrested tonight in connection with the deadly case of domestic violence, according to Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

isa Ricardo, 38, of 106 Wilbur St., Raynham was charged with being an accessory after the fact of murder and two counts of child endangerment. She is in custody at the Shrewsbury Police Department and will be arraigned Monday in Westboro District Court.

Her brother Keith Rosiello, 44, of 32 Deerfield Road was arraigned on a charge of murder today in Westboro District Court. Judge Paul S. Waickowski entered a not guilty plea on behalf of Mr. Rosiello and ordered him held without bail at the Worcester County House of Correction in West Boylston. His case was continued to February 22 for a pre-trial conference.

Mr. Rosiello was arrested yesterday after he made a 911

call to the Shrewsbury Police Department. He disclosed that he had an altercation with his wife and that she was not breathing. Shrewsbury Police Officers and Firefighters who responded to the single-family home discovered Maureen Rosiello, 44, of the same address, deceased.

The state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is performing an autopsy.

The Rosiellos, who were husband and wife, have two children ages, 12 and 6. The children are now in the custody of the state Department of Children and Families.

State Police Detectives assigned to the Worcester District Attorney’s Office and Shrewsbury Police Detectives are continuing the investigation.

Two Found Dead in Fire; Apparent Murder-Suicide

January 14, 2010

SPENCER – A husband and wife were discovered shot in a burning house early today in an apparent murder-suicide, according to Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Michael S. Khoury, 69, of 19 Woodchuck Lane was found with a gunshot wound in the doorway of his home shortly after 6:15 a.m. He was transported to St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester where he was pronounced dead a short time later. Joyce M. Khoury, 66, of the same address, was dead found in a bedroom of the home. She also suffered a gunshot wound.

Police were alerted to a fire at 19 Woodchuck Lane at 6:18 a.m. by a 911 call from a neighbor. When police arrived they found a truck on fire in the driveway and the house ablaze. The Spencer Fire Department responded to the fire and was assisted by Leicester and Paxton fire             

departments in bringing the fire under control.

A horse, suffering from several gunshot wounds, was discovered in a barn on the property. The horse was transported to the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in Grafton. The horse is being evaluated and cared for at the school, no other information on the horse’s condition will be released.

The shootings and fire remain under investigation by the state Police Detectives assigned to District Attorney’s Office, state Fire Marshal’s Office and the Spencer Police and Fire Departments.