2011 Press Release Archive

May 14, 2012

Death of Sturbridge Woman Not Suspicious

December 27, 2011

STURBRIDGE — The death of a 44-year-old Sturbridge woman, whose body was found this afternoon on the median of  I-84, does not appear suspicious or the result of being struck by a vehicle, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.
The woman’s body was found about 12:53 p.m. by a State Police K-9 unit after she was reported missing by a family member to Sturbridge Police earlier in the day. Her vehicle was found abandoned on River Road above the highway.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.
State Police detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s office, State Police from the Sturbridge barracks and Sturbridge Police are continuing the investigation.

Man Shot in Fitchburg, Suspect Sought

December 21, 2011

FITCHBURG — A man was shot this morning in Fitchburg and his assailant is being sought by police, according to Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Antonio Klapakis, 27 of Brooklyn, N.Y. was shot just after 7:30 a.m. at the Meadowbrook Apartments, 46 Meadowbrook Parkway. He was was transported by helicopter to the University of Massachusetts Medical Center where he remains in stable condition.

The suspect, wanted for questioning, is still at large. His name is not being released at this time. State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office and the Fitchburg Police are continuing to investigate.

Two People Found Dead in Fitchburg; No Foul Play Suspected

December 13, 2011

FITCHBURG — A middle-aged man and his mother were found dead Monday at 228 Pratt Street. Neither death is considered suspicious, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Delores Gurden, 74, was found in her home. There were no signs of trauma or foul play. Her son, Stephen Gurden, 56, was found outside the home dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Police went to the home to check on the well being of the Gurdens at about 5:30 p.m.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will determine the cause and  

manner of each death. The investigation by the State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office and the Fitchburg Police is continuing.

Death of Princeton Woman Investigated

December 6, 2011

PRINCETON — State Police detectives and Princeton Police are investigating the death of Kathleen Desilets, who was found early this morning outside her home at 20 Worcester Road, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.
Princeton Police were called about 2:45 a.m. and Mrs. Desilets, 65, was taken by ambulance to the University Massachusetts Medical Center, University Campus, in Worcester where she was pronounced dead. .
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is performing an autopsy to
determine her cause of death.
State Police detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s office and Princeton Police are continuing the investigation.

Police Justified in Shooting Man With Machete

November 28, 2011

FITCHBURG – City police officers responded with appropriate force when they shot and killed a Belmont Street man armed with a machete on March 19, according Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.
Eric D. Stafford, 21, of Apartment No.1, 15 Belmont St., was transported to the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Leominster Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The Executive Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in its autopsy report said Mr. Stafford died of two gunshot wounds to the torso.
“Given the circumstances, including attempts by the officers to subdue the suspect by less lethal means, the officers acted appropriately,” Mr. Early said.

At about 11 p.m. on March 19 Fitchburg Police were called to 15 Belmont St. after Mr. Stafford’s girlfriend reported he was acting

strangely and may have been armed with a BB gun and a machete. Police found Mr. Stafford seated in a back room of the apartment and armed with a machete.

Police ordered Mr. Stafford to drop the machete. When he did not drop the weapon,
police attempted to subdue Mr. Stafford with several rounds of Pepperball. Sometime after the less lethal Pepperballs were fired, Mr. Stafford raised the machete over his head and charged police. Officers fired several rounds from their service weapons, two of which struck Mr. Stafford.

Two police officers involved in the confrontation, who were placed on paid administrative, have since returned to work. State Police Detectives assigned to the Worcester District Attorney’s Office conducted the investigation.

Hypothermia Contributed to Elderly Woman’s Death

November 8, 2011

NORTH BROOKFIELD — The 86-year-old woman who died in her unheated home last week was a victim of hypothermia, lung cancer and heart disease, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined that Dorothy M. Hall of 70 Old East Brookfield Road died of “hypothermia, carcinoma of lungs, atherosclerotic and hypertensive cardiovascular disease.” The manner of death was listed as “accident,” according to a preliminary report from the Medical Examiner’s Office.

On Thursday, Ms. Hall was found unresponsive by her son, Willis Hall,      

59, who had shared the home with his mother. Ms. Hall was wrapped in blankets sitting in a living room chair that morning when her son could not wake her.

Mr. Hall was taken to Harrington Hospital for a medical condition and possible hypothermia. Mr. Hall had told police that the Halls’ house had lost power at about 5:30 p.m. on October 30 and it was still out on Thursday morning. Mr. Hall reported that his mother had complained that she was cold on Wednesday night.

Elderly Woman Dies in Unheated Home

November 3, 2011

NORTH BROOKFIELD — An 86-year-old woman died in her unheated home today, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Dorothy M. Hall of 70 Old East Brookfield Road was found unresponsive by her son, Willis Hall, 59, who had shared the home with his mother. Ms. Hall was wrapped in a blanket sitting in a living room chair this morning when her son could not wake her. He called 911. North Brookfield Police and Ambulance arrived at about 9:45 a.m. and Ms. Hall was determined to be dead.

Mr. Hall was taken to Harrington Hospital for a medical condition and possible hypothermia. Mr. Hall had told police that the Halls’ house had lost power at about 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and it was still out. Mr. Hall        

reported that his mother had complained that she was cold on Wednesday night.

“These are tragic circumstances,” Mr. Early said. “If you are without power, especially if you are elderly or an adult with young children, please take precautions. Contact the local police department and find a shelter where you can stay warm. If possible check on your elderly neighbors, relatives and friends.”

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has accepted the case. The State Police assigned to the District Attorney’s Office and North Brookfield Police are continuing to investigate.

Guaman Indicted for Murder in Milford Death

October 21, 2011

WORCESTER — Nicolas D. Guaman was indicted for murder today in connection with the August death of a Milford man who was dragged for a quarter of a mile while trapped beneath Mr. Guaman’s truck, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

A Worcester County Grand Jury handed up indictments for second degree murder, manslaughter while driving a motor vehicle, motor vehicle homicide, wanton or reckless behavior causing risk of serious bodily injury to a child, leaving the scene after a collision causing death, failing to stop for police and operating without a license.

Mr. Guaman, 34, of 10 Cherry St., Milford was arrested by Milford Police after the Aug. 20 collision between a pickup truck driven by Mr. Guaman and a motorcycle driven by Matthew J. Denice,

23, of 22 Debbie Lane, Milford.

The collision occurred at Congress and Fayette streets. Mr. Guaman continued driving after the crash despite witnesses banging on the driver’s door and attempting to alert Mr. Guaman that Mr. Denice was trapped under the truck. Police eventually stopped the truck driven by Mr. Guaman on Lee Street.

Mr. Guaman will be arraigned in Worcester Superior Court on Nov. 1. He is being held on $100,000 bail. The investigation, by the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office and the Milford Police under the direction of Chief Thomas J. O’Loughlin, is continuing.

One Dead, One Arrested After Leominster Fight

October 2, 2011

LEOMINSTER – A 22-year-old man died and his 18-year-old brother was charged with murder after a fight earlier today in their home, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.
Richard L. Morales Jr. of 157 Berrington Road was pronounced dead at UMass Health Alliance Hospital at 2:28 p.m. The victim had been stabbed in the chest. Andrew Morales of the same address was arrested and charged with murder. He will be arraigned tomorrow in Leominster District Court.
Leominster Police were called at about 1:45 p.m. to 157 Berrington Road for a reported fight between two men. When they arrived they found Richard Morales bleeding from his wound.
The State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office and the Leominster Police are continuing to investigate.

Worcester State Student Falls to His Death

September 13, 2011

WORCESTER — A 21-year-old student at Worcester State University died this morning after falling almost 60 feet from the roof of a parking garage, according to Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.
Nicholas Leoni, 21, of Shrewsbury was seen on the roof by a university police officer at about 8:30 a.m., just moments before he fell.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office has accepted the case. State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office are continuing their investigation.

Authorities Search For Man Whose Home was Burned

September 6, 2011

HARDWICK – State Police Detectives and local police are searching for an 84-year-old man and his van; both were discovered missing when authorities were called to his home to combat a suspicious fire early today.

Joseph Cernauskas of 151 Off Maple St. in the Wheelwright section of town is missing. Mr. Cernauskas stands about 5-foot-9-inches and could driving his brown 1999 Chrysler Town & Country van. The license plate is 74TG94.

Anyone who sees Mr. Cernauskas or his van should contact the Holden State Policeat 508-829-8420.

Help Sought in Identifying Body

August 20, 2011

FITCHBURG — Police are looking for help in identifying the body of a male, believed to be between the ages 25 and 35, found yesterday morning on a dirt road off Airport Road, according to District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

The body was found on the road leading to a Fitchburg DPW sand pit around 8 a.m. Fitchburg Police and State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s office responded after receiving a 911 call.

Mr. Early said the man was 5-foot-10 , 177 pounds with brown eyes and black hair. He had a distinctive tattoo on his right calf of four Oriental symbols with flames coming from each. He also had a surgical scar on his abdomen as well scars on his upper right arm and his chest.
Fitchburg Police and State Police Detectives are investigating the death.  The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy.

Anyone with information is urged to call the State Police barracks inHolden (508 829-8420) orFitchburg police (978 345-9648).

District Attorney’s Office Investigates Woman’s Death

August 2, 2011

SPENCER — A 44-year-old woman, was found dead in her home this morning, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Responding to a 911 call at 6:16 a.m., Spencer Police found Sharon M. Braney of 40 Maple St., Apartment 2. A neighbor called 911.

State Police Detectives assigned to District Attorney’s Office are investigating. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy. 

Second Suspect Arraigned in JV’s Variety Murder

July 29, 2011

FITCHBURG — The second of two Fitchburg men, charged with murder in the July 20 shooting outside JV’s Variety, was ordered held without bail today in Fitchburg District Court, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Jason Velez-Acosta, 21, of 35 Birch St. was arrested late last night as part of an ongoing investigation by the State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office and the Fitchburg Police Department. A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf and Judge Andrew L. Mandell continued the case to Aug. 31.

Rafael Garcia-Concepcion, 32, of 86 Cleghorn St., was                

arraigned on a murder charge last Friday in Fitchburg District Court. He is being held without bail and his case was continued to Sept. 1.

Scott E. Person, 40, 781A Fitchburg State Road, Ashby died last Friday at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester. He had been shot shortly after he left work at JV’s.

Lorenzo Perez was appointed to represent Mr. Velez-Acosta. Assistant District Attorney Cara Krysil represented the Commonwealth.

Drug Suspect Dies While in Custody

July 25, 2011

GRAFTON — A North Attleboro man, suspected of dealing cocaine, died last night after being booked at the Grafton Police station, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Shane B. Cardoza, 51, of 132 Summer St., North Attleboro was arrested at about 4 p.m. on drug charges. He had several small plastic bags of cocaine in his car at the time of his arrest. He was brought to the police station along with the drugs.

Mr. Cardoza was placed in a holding cell where he later was found convulsing on the floor of an apparent drug overdose. Emergency medical services

were called and resuscitation efforts were begun. He was transported to the University of Massachusetts Medical Center where he died.

he Office of the State Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death. State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office are investigating.

Store Clerk Dies; Suspect Charged With Murder

July 22, 2011

FITCHBURG — A Fitchburg man was arraigned today in Fitchburg District Court on a charge of murder in the shooting late Wednesday night outside JV’s Variety Store, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Scott E. Person, 40, 781A Fitchburg State Road, Ashby died this morning at University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester. He had been wounded in the attack by Garcia-Concepcion shortly after he left work at JV’s.

Rafael Garcia-Concepcion, 32, of 86 Cleghorn St., was arrested late last night. He was initially charged with armed assault with intent to murder and assault with a         

weapon with intent to commit robbery. The charge was upgraded to murder after Mr. Person died.
Judge Andrew L. Mandell ordered Mr. Garcia-Concepcion held without bail and his case was continued to Sept. 1.

Christopher P. Loconto was appointed to represent Mr. Garcia-Concepcion. Assistant District Attorney Joseph T. Moriarty Jr. represented the Commonwealth.
State Police Detectives assigned to Worcester County District Attorney’s Office and Fitchburg Police are continuing to investigate.

Arrest Made in Store Clerk Shooting

July 22, 2011

FITCHBURG — A Fitchburg man will be arraigned today on a charges stemming from the shooting late Wednesday night outside JV’s Variety Store, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Rafael Garcia-Concepcion, 32, of 86 Cleghorn St., was arrested late last night and charged with armed assault with intent to murder and assault with a weapon with intent to commit robbery. He is expected to be arraigned this morning in Fitchburg District Court.

Scott E. Person, 40, 781A Fitchburg State Road, Ashby remains in grave condition at University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester. He was wounded in the attack by Garcia-Concepcion and a still unnamed attacker.

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

Variety Store Clerk Shot in Fitchburg

July 21, 2011

FITCHBURG — A man, who had just finished his shift working at JV’s Variety Store at 128 Fairmount St., was shot last night, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Scott E. Person, 40, 781A Fitchburg State Road, Ashby, was transported to Health Alliance Hospital in Leominster where he remains in grave condition suffering from a gun shot wound to the head.

Fitchburg Police Officers responded to the store at about 11:20 p.m. after receiving a 911 call. Investigators are searching for several suspects.

State Police Detectives assigned to Worcester County District Attorney’s Office and Fitchburg Police are investigating.

Boy Injured in St. John’s Pool Dies

July 19, 2011

WORCESTER — Aaditya Basrur , the 7-year-old Shrewsbury boy injured on Thursday in the outdoor swimming pool at St. John’s High School, died at 7:30 p.m. yesterday at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will perform an autopsy and the incident remains under investigation.

Boy Dies After Collapsing at Soccer Camp

July 18, 2011

HOLDEN — A 12-year-old boy, attending a soccer camp at Wachusett Regional High School, collapsed on the field this morning and later died at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. Announced.

Joshua Thibodeau of 50 Highland St., Holden, collapsed during a low-speed drill with about 15 other campers. The incident occurred shortly before 10 a.m., soon after camp began. He was transported to UMass by the Holden Emergency Medical Services and was pronounced dead at 10:45 a.m. at the hospital.

He was attending the Zalgiris Soccer Camp at the high school.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has accepted the case and an autopsy will be performed. The incident is being investigated by the Holden Police and the State Police Detectives assigned to the Worcester County District Attorney’s office.

Shrewsbury Boy Critical After Near Drowning

July 15, 2011

SHREWSBURY — A 7-year-old Shrewsbury boy reamains in critical condition today after nearly drowning yesterday afternoon in the outdoor swimming pool at St. John’s High School, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.The child, Aaditya Basrur, was taken to UMass-Memorial Medical Center after the accident, which happened about 2:15 p.m.

The Department of Public Health has ordered the pool closed pending an inspection. There were about 40 children in the pool participating in an “open swim” at the time of the incident, according to Mr. Early. They are participating in Camp Saint John, a day program for boys and girls aged 5-12. Shrewsbury Police, Fire and EMS responded to the incident along with State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s office. The incident remains under investigation.

Worcester Man Charged With Rutland Murder

July 15, 2011

EAST BROOKFIELD — A Worcester man was charged with first degree murder today in the slaying last week of  Francis P. Spokis of Rutland, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

James M. Rutherford, 24, of 600 Main St., Worcester, was arraigned this afternoon in East Brookfield District Court, and Judge Timothy Bibaud ordered that he be held without bail and continued his case to Aug. 17.

Mr. Rutherford and Lee Anne Chesko of Worcester were charged on Thursday with lying to police in connection with the death of Mr. Spokis, 52, who was found dead in his home at 120 Wachusett St., Rutland, on Sunday afternoon. Ms. Chesko has not been charged with murder.

State Police detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s office obtained and executed a search warrant for Mr. Rutherford’s vehicle on Thursday. Senior First Assistant District Attorney Daniel Bennett said during the

arraignment that evidence found in the vehicle, including blood and items that were believed to have been taken from the Spokis home, led to the murder charge.

Mr. Early praised the State Police detectives, along with State Police chemists, the State Police Crime Scene Unit and Rutland Police, investigators whom he said have been working the case around the clock since the body was found.
“The arraignment came after a great deal of hard work involving detailed and relentless pursuit of the people responsible for this murder,” Mr. Early said. “There is still work to be done and the effort continues.”

Police are continuing the investigation.

Two Arrested in Connection With Rutland Death

July 14, 2011

WORCESTER — A man and woman are being held on bail on charges of lying to police in connection with the death of Francis P. Spokis of Rutland, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Lee Anne Chesko, 24, of 204 Fairmont Ave., Worcester, and James M. Rutherford, 24, of 600 Main St., Worcester, were arraigned today in Central District Court on the lying charge, which is part of the intimidating a witness statute. They were arrested early this morning by State Police detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s office.

Judge Paul L. McGill set bail of $50,000 for Ms. Chesko and $30,000 for Mr. Rutherford. Their cases were continued to Aug. 12.
Mr. Early had argued for bail of $50,000 for both defendants.

Mr. Spokis, 52, was found dead in his home at 120 Wachusett St., Rutland, on Sunday afternoon.

Mr. Early said that Ms. Chesko had placed a call to Mr. Spokis on July 5 from a Honey Farms store in Holden, about eight miles from the Spokis home. It was the last call he received.

Mr. Early said she lied about being at the Honey Farms, making the call and making other calls to the victim until the State Police detectives assigned to the DA’s office confronted her with a surveillance tape from the store.

Mr. Early said the tape showed the defendants at the store and leaving in a car registered to Mr. Rutherford. The DA said Mr. Rutherford also made misleading statements to police about his relationship with Ms. Chesko.

State Police and Rutland Police are continuing the investigation.

District Attorney’s Statement on Rutland Homicide

July 12, 2011

“With regard to the homicide discovered at Wachusett Street in Rutland, every active investigative lead is being pursued at this time by the State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s office and the Rutland Police,” said Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. “There is always concern when a homicide has been committed and the suspect or suspects are at large. However in this case, at this time, the evidence does not point to this being a random act of violence. Still nothing has been ruled out and Rutland residents should take all reasonable precautions.”

Rutland Man Killed in His Home

July 11, 2011

RUTLAND — A 52-year-old man, an apparent homicide victim, was found dead in his home yesterday afternoon, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

The body of Francis P. Spokis was found in his home at 120 Wachusett St. State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office were called to that address at about 5 p.m., yesterday. The detectives, assisted by State Police Crime Scene Services, State Police Chemists and Rutland Police, are continuing to investigate.

The state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.

No further information about the case will be released at this time.

Three Worcester Men Charged With Drug Trafficking

June 30, 2011

WORCESTER — Three Worcester men were charged with drug trafficking and police seized more than 1,500 grams of cocaine and $35,000 in cash, Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. has announced.

All three men were arraigned in Central District Court on Monday and are being held on bail.

Jorge Areiza, 33, of 14 Brookside Ave., charged with conspiracy to violate drug laws, trafficking in cocaine over 200 grams and conspiracy to traffic cocaine over 200 grams, was held on $1 million bail.

Draney Gomez-Mesa, 31, of 56 Edgeworth St., was arrested after allegedly selling approximately 250 grams of cocaine to an undercover trooper. Executing a search warrant of his apartment, police seized cocaine and cash. He is charged with trafficking in cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, distributing cocaine within a school zone (Lincoln Street Elementary),    

two counts of trafficking in cocaine over 200 grams and conspiracy to traffic cocaine over 200 grams. He is being held on $500,000 bail.

Hector Puerta, 48, of 26 William St., is being held on $100,000 bail after being charged with trafficking in cocaine over 100 grams. Police confiscated cocaine and cash from his apartment after executing a search warrant.

The cases of all three men were continued to July 18.

In addition to the three arrests, information gathered in the investigation led police to the basement of a building at 96 Elm St. where more cocaine was recovered.

The arrests were part of an ongoing investigation by the State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office, State Police Special Services Unit, State Police Gang Unit, Worcester Police, the Drug Enforcement Administration and ICE.

Early Names Zona to Head Detective Unit

June 27, 2011

WORCESTER — Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. has named Detective Lt. Thomas Zona as supervisor of the State Police Detective Unit assigned to the DA’s office.

Detective Lt. Zona replaces Richard McKeon who was promoted to the rank of Major earlier this month and transferred to State Police headquarters in Framingham.
Zona, who was promoted from Lieutenant to Detective Lieutenant this month, has served 25 years with the State Police, 22 with the detective unit assigned to the DA’s office. He worked three years with the Worcester Police Department before joining the State Police.

“I have a lot of confidence in Detective Lt. Tom Zona,” Mr. Early said. “I am sure Tom will step into this new role with all

the skill and professionalism that he has shown throughout his career with the state police.”

Major McKeon had worked in the DA’s detective unit from 1986 to 2002 and from 2003 until his recent promotion. He served as supervisor the last five years.

“We are going to miss Rick,” Mr. Early said. “In the nearly five years that he has led the detective unit assigned to my office, he has moved up in the ranks to detective lieutenant, to detective captain and now to major. Rick has always displayed great leadership and skill and has been a great asset to Worcester County, and a credit to his profession.”

Driver Who Hit State Police Colonel’s SUV Sent to Jail

June 20, 2011

WORCESTER — A city woman, whose truck rammed State Police Col. Marian McGovern’s vehicle at stop light last year, pleaded guilty today in Superior Court to a 5thoffense operating under the influence of alcohol charge, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Judge James R. Lemire sentenced Donna M. Sclamo, 52, of 1 Burton St., to two years in jail and 10 years probation after accepting the guilty plea. She was given credit for 90 days she has already spent in jail. As result of her guilty plea her license to drive was permanately

revoked. Judge Lemire also fined Ms. Sclamo $100 for unlicensed operation.

On the morning of Oct. 11, Ms. Sclamo drove her Ford truck into the rear end of a stationary unmarked State Police SUV driven by Col. McGovern. The crash occurred at a traffic signal on Route 20 in Shrewsbury. No one was injured.

Ms. Sclamo had four previous convictions for operating under the influence in the 1990s.

Southborough Death is Not Suspicious

May 27, 2011

SOUTHBOROUGH — No foul play is suspected in the death of a 28-year-old woman discovered this morning on the driveway of 34 Central St., according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Alicia Gill of 21 Royal Crest Drive, Apartment 6, Marlborough, was discovered unconscious on the driveway by a passerby at about 7:30 a.m. She was found by her car, which had both back doors open. It appears she may have been cleaning the car when she was stricken.

Ms. Gill works as a nanny at the Southborough address. An infant, found in the house, was transported to a Framingham Hospital as a precaution, but child appeared to be OK.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will perform an autopsy. The State Police Detectives assigned to the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office and the Southborough Police Department are continuing to investigate.

Indictment in Beating That was Posted on Internet

May 20, 2011

WORCESTER — An Oxford man charged in connection with a beating in a strip club men’s room was indicted today by the Worcester County Grand Jury, Worcester District Joseph D. Early Jr. announced.
Easton Byfield, 36, of 30 Thayer Pond Drive, Apt. 8, Oxford, was indicted for unarmed robbery, assault and battery and aggravated kidnapping. He will be arraigned on Wednesday in Worcester Superior Court.

Mr. Byfield was summoned to Central District Court in February to face charges stemming from a beating in

the men’s room of the Platinum Premier Club in May of 2010. The victim, a man in his 20s, did not report incident to police when it happened, but it was recorded on a cell phone. When the video of the incident was posted on the Internet earlier this year, Worcester Police began an investigation that led to charges against Mr. Byfield.

DNA From Dead Suspect Solves Worcester Murder

May 11, 2011

WORCESTER – Nearly 19 years after Denise Comeau’s body was found burned in a fire in an abandoned building on Austin Street, her murder has been solved through DNA testing, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

James Earl Johnson was exhumed from a cemetery in Tuskegee, Ala. last October and tissue from his body was transported to Massachusetts and analyzed at the Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory. Mr. Johnson had been a suspect in several rapes and Ms. Comeau’s murder.

“On Monday, we learned that the DNA from Mr. Johnson’s body was match for the DNA recovered from the autopsy of Ms. Comeau and DNA profiles found in two rape kits from the 1990s,” Mr. Early said. “The match means that Mr. Johnson was responsible for killing Ms. Comeau and for a rape in May 1993 and a rape in September of 1995.”

The investigation of the unsolved murder in 1992 led investigators from the Worcester Police Unresolved Homicide Unit and the Worcester District Attorney’s Office to seek the exhumation of Mr. Johnson’s body.

“I want to thank District Attorney E. Paul Jones of the Fifth Judicial Circuit in Alabama for his assistance in closing these cases,” Mr. Early said. “Worcester detectives Dan Sullivan, Bill Donovan and Maureen Siedlecki did great work piecing together connections between these cases. We hope that this development can give some closure to the victims’ families.”

Mr. Johnson lived Worcester from the 1970s to the ’90s.

On Dec. 11, 1992, firefighters battling a blaze in an abandoned building in Worcester found the corpse of Ms.Comeau, 30. 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. However, he was not arrested because the victim did not wish to go forward with a charge. The DNA match indicates that the man who committed the rapes also killed Ms. Comeau.

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, Assistant District Attorney Joseph Quinlan 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 58.

Baby Falls From Motel Window, Survives

April 29, 2011

AUBURN — A 10-month-old boy, who fell about 21 feet from a third-floor motel window onto a concrete slab this morning, is in serious condition at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Davrael Sorrell fell from the window at the Comfort Inn, 426 Southbridge St. shortly before 11 a.m. He was transported to UMass by the Auburn Emergency Medical Services.

The preliminary investigation shows that the boy’s mother,     

Shanice Ashmore of Worcester, was supporting the boy while he stood on the window sill watching a truck in an adjacent parking lot. The boy leaned forward against the screen and it gave way.

Massachusetts State Police assigned to Worcester District Attorney’s Office and the Auburn Police are investigating.

Two Arraigned on Heroin Trafficking Charges

April 15, 2011

WORCESTER — A city man and woman were arraigned this week in Central District Court after they were arrested by State Police Detectives and Worcester Police with more than 28 grams of heroin, Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. announced today.

Roberto K. Osorio, 29, of 101 Whipple St., Apartment 10, was charged with trafficking in a Class A substance (heroin) over 28 grams; possession of Class A (heroin) w/intent to distribute; and a drug violation within a School Zone. Katherine Ulerio, 22, of the same address was charged with trafficking in a Class A substance (heroin) over 28 grams.

Their cases were continued to May 19 and bail was set at $10,000 on each defendant. Ulerio posted bail. Osorio remains in custody.

The arrests were the result of an ongoing heroin distribution investigation. Mr. Osorio was arrested in the parking lot of Wal-Mart at 25 Tobias Boland Way. Ms. Ulerio was arrested at their apartment.

During the search of the suspects’ apartment officers recovered and seized 102            

individually packaged plastic bags containing approximately 53 grams of a tan powder substance believed to be heroin; approximately $15,000, a digital scale, strainer, coffee grinder, packaging materials, numerous cell phones and miscellaneous paperwork for Osorio and Ulerio.

State Police Sgt. Michael Sampson, Troopers John Fraioli, Peter LeDuc, Nicholas Nason, Gerard O’Malley and Jeffrey Perry from the State Police Detectives assigned to the Worcester District Attorney’s Office; Sgt. Gerry Molet and Trooper Michael Baxter from State Police K-9; Troopers Erik Baldwin and Jeff Johnson from State Police Community Action Team; and Sgt. Carl Supernor, and Officers Richard Burgos, James Bates, Jeff Carlson and Michael Hanlon from Worcester Police Vice Unit were involved in the investigation.

Day of Beer Drinking Preceded Fatal Bus Incidnet

April 4, 2011

LANCASTER – One man was killed and another injured late Saturday night after they tumbled out of tour bus window as the bus was moving at 60 miles per hour in the westbound lane of Route 2, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Thomas D. Johnson, 31, of Gardner was found dead on the shoulder of the highway by a passing state trooper. An autopsy, conducted today at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Boston, found that Mr. Johnson died of “impact trauma.” The manner of death is pending the conclusion of the investigation.

The second victim, Seth Davis, 34, of Winchendon, was found injured, but conscious nearby. Mr. Davis was taken to the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester and treated for multiple injuries. He was listed in stable condition at the hospital today.

The initial investigation indicates that the two men had been rough-housing in the back of the chartered bus, near and in the restroom. The two men apparently fell out of a 3-foot-10-inch by 2-foot-5-inch     

window in the restroom onto the pavement. The window is hinged at the top and opened at the bottom. The driver, unaware that the men had fallen out of the bus, continued for several miles before pulling off the highway at Fort Pond Road.

The incident happened at about 10:20 p.m. at the tail end of a beer-drinking trip that began at 10:30 a.m. at the Gardner Ale House in Gardner. Patrons there had contracted for a brewery tour with USA Bus Charter of Carlsbad, Calif., which subcontracted with A1 Chauffeur of Randolph. The bus made stops at the Wachusett Brewery in Westminster, the Redhook Brewery in Portsmouth, N.H., the Cape Ann Brewery in Gloucester and The Tap in Haverhill.

There were more than 50 people on the bus, which is owed by Colonial Bus Tours Inc. of Quincy.

The investigation by the State Police Detectives assigned to the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office is continuing.

Machete – Wielding Man Shot by Police

March 20, 2011

FITCHBURG – A Belmont Street man, armed with a machete, was shot and killed late last night after police were called to his home, according Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Eric D. Stafford, 21, of Apartment No.1, 15 Belmont St., was transported to the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Leominster Hospital were he was pronounced dead. The Executive Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will perform an autopsy.

Shortly after 11 p.m. last night Fitchburg Police responded to 15 Belmont after Mr. Stafford’s girlfriend reported he was acting strange and may have been armed with a BB gun and a machete. Stafford’s girlfriend had first called police shortly after 10 p.m., but police did not

encounter Mr. Stafford on their first visit.

When police arrived a second time, they were confronted with Mr. Stafford armed with a machete. Police attempted to subdue Mr. Stafford’s aggressive actions with a less lethal Pepperball, but failed to stop him. As he continued toward the officers with the machete, it is believed that two officers fired at Mr. Stafford.

Two police officers involved in the confrontation have been placed on paid administrative leave by Fitchburg Police Chief Robert DeMoura.
State Police Detectives assigned to the Worcester District Attorney’s Office are continuing to investigate.

Dudley 4-Year-Old Dies From Injuries

March 13, 2011

AUBURN – The young boy who fell from the second floor of a store at the Auburn Mall on Friday night has died, according to Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Mark DiBona, 4, died shortly before 10 p.m. last night at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Memorial Campus. He had been brought to the hospital by ambulance Friday night after he fell from the escalator on the second floor of the Sears store in the mall.

The boy had been shopping with members of his family and a friend. Mark was the son

of Eric and Laura DiBona of Dudley.

Auburn Police and Fire Departments were dispatched to the mall at about 6:35 p.m. Friday. State Police Detectives and Auburn Police are continuing to investigate, but there are no signs of foul play.

Cyanide Killed Man in Westborough Murder/Suicide

February 17, 2011

WESTBOROUGH – A man, who murdered his wife on November 18, killed himself the same day with a lethal dose of cyanide, according to an autopsy report from the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. said today.

The autopsy report on Richard “Todd” Bibart, 43, of 27 Thomas Newton Drive, was delayed pending the results of toxicology tests. Today’s report listed “acute cyanide poisoning” as the cause of death and “suicide (intentional ingestion of cyanide)” as the manner of death. Bibart, a professional scientist, had the ability to obtain cyanide, according to the investigation conducted by the State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office.

The autopsy report for Rebecca A. Bibart, 41, of the same address, showed that she died of “sharp force injuries to the neck” and “blunt force trauma to the head.” The manner of death was homicide.

The Westborough Police Department had been called to Thomas Newton Drive at about 4 p.m. on November 18 to conduct a well being check. Mrs. Bibart was found in the finished basement of the home while her husband was found in an upstairs bedroom. The investigation revealed the couple was going through a divorce and the family home was for sale. The couple’s two small children were not home during the incident. They are living with family.

Drugs Raid in Worcester Lead to Three Arrests

February 1, 2011

WORCESTER – Two separate unrelated raids in the city last night and this morning led to three drug trafficking arrests, according to Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office and Worcester Police executed search warrants at 2 Delldale St., Apt. 12 and 10 Randall St., Apt. 3A.

At 5:15 a.m. today, State Police and Worcester Police executed a no knock search warrant at 2 DellDale St. Officers recovered and seized about 370 grams of crack cocaine; about 5 grams of heroin; about $160; 17 red/white unknown capsules; three digital scales; packaging materials; 2 cell phones and miscellaneous paperwork.

Ocie Jenkins, 44, 2 Delldale St., Apt. 12, was charged with trafficking over 200 grams of a Class B controlled substance (crack cocaine) and illegal possession with intent to distribute a Class A controlled substance (heroin). Jenkins was arraigned today in Central District Court. Judge

Paul L. McGill set bail at $10,000 cash.

At 5:20 p.m. yesterday, State Police and Worcester Police used a key to enter the apartment at 10 Randall St. and executed a search warrant. Officers recovered and seized a loaded .357 caliber handgun; about 84 grams of cocaine; two rounds of .38 caliber special ammunition; numerous Percocet pills and assorted unknown pills; about $425; a scale; cutting agents; packaging materials and miscellaneous paperwork.

Jesse A. Sargent, 25, and Daniel M. Hayes 26, both of 10 Randall St, Apt 3A were charged with trafficking in a Class B controlled substance (cocaine) over 28 grams; illegal possession of a firearm; illegal possession of ammunition; possession of a firearm without FID; and illegal possession with intent to distribute a Class B controlled substance (Percocet). They were arraigned in Central District Court. Judge McGill set $500 bail for Hayes and $700 for Sargent.