, Salem, MA

July 29, 2008

Paroled murderer held on $300,000 cash bail on rape charges

By Mike LaBella

 Salem News archive: Recent cases have Parole Board under the spotlight

Salem News archive: Decision to free killer shocks victim's family

HAVERHILL — A Peabody man who was on parole after serving 18 years in prison for murder was ordered held on $300,000 cash bail on charges he raped a Haverhill woman and intimidated a witness.

At a hearing in Haverhill District Court yesterday, Judge Patricia Dowling also ordered Charles "Chuckie" Doucette Jr., 48, to be detained at the request of the state Parole Board. He must appear in court Aug. 18 for a probable cause hearing.

Doucette had served 18 years of the life sentence he was given for the 1987 execution-style shooting death of Raymond Bufalino, 30, of Salem. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 1991, which made him eligible for parole in 2006, over the objection of Essex County prosecutors, who called him a "career criminal."

Eighteen months after his release, Doucette was arrested and charged with raping a 49-year-old Haverhill woman in her apartment. Now his parole is in question because of the new charges. He could be returned to prison to continue serving his life sentence.

According to a Haverhill police report, the woman called police on July 19 to say Doucette had raped her five days earlier on July 14. The woman said she knew Doucette because he was dating her former roommate and that the couple lived together at 35 Lynn St. in Peabody.

She said Doucette, who had been working as a truck driver, called her on the 14th and said he was in the Haverhill area and needed to talk to her about his relationship, adding that he thought his girlfriend was cheating on him and that he might just go home and punch her or "might even kill her," according to the police report.

After an unsuccessful attempt at questioning the victim, who told him she did not want to get involved, Doucette threatened her and demanded that she have sex with him or he would harm his girlfriend, according to police.

The woman said she gave in to his demands for sex and told police she did not report the incident right away because she was in fear for her own life.

Terrell Harris, a spokesman for the Executive Office of Public Safety, which oversees the Parole Board, said the new charge will trigger a request for revocation of Doucette's parole.

If the board finds that Doucette did violate his parole, he would be returned to prison to resume serving his life sentence in the murder and in two violent home invasions he committed while out on bail in the murder case.

He would not be eligible to seek parole for at least five years, Harris said.

Family members of Bufalino said Doucette never should have been back on the street, especially since he continued to maintain that the shooting was an accident — though he shot Bufalino twice.


Salem News archive: Recent cases have Parole Board under the spotlight

Salem News archive: Decision to free killer shocks victim's family