Doucette was convicted of first-degree murder in 1988, but a Superior Court judge, John Ronan, set the verdict aside and released Doucette. Despite a Supreme Judicial Court order overruling the judge and ordering Doucette back to prison, Ronan then granted a motion for a new trial and released Doucette on bail. While on bail, Doucette committed two violent home invasions and robberies, one in Peabody and one in Lynnfield. He later claimed that he committed the crimes to pay his lawyer in the murder case.
On the day his trial was set to start in December 1991, Doucette pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, as well as charges stemming from the home invasion and robberies. He was sentenced to seven life terms. But under Massachusetts law, a “life” sentence for any offense less than first-degree murder entitles a defendant to seek parole after serving 15 years.
In a 4-2 vote in 2006, the Parole Board voted to release Doucette on parole, on his first try, over the objections of prosecutors and of Bufalino’s family. He was released in 2007.
While living in Peabody in 2008, Doucette was charged with raping a woman at a party in Haverhill. The charge was later dropped after a grand jury declined to indict Doucette, and he was placed back on parole.
Then, on Valentine’s Day in 2011, he was charged with dragging his girlfriend with his truck outside his home in Beverly. Though he was later acquitted at trial, the Parole Board cited a Salem District Court judge’s findings before the trial that the allegations from that incident and two earlier domestic assaults disclosed by the woman were “credible.”
The incident triggered another parole violation proceeding, during which Doucette’s parole officer noted that Doucette was skipping AA meetings and had been allowing the victim to live with him without permission from the parole officer. The parole officer also noted that marijuana paraphernalia was found in the woman’s bedroom.