, Salem, MA

March 28, 2013

Suspect expected to get 13-25 years in robberies


---- — SALEM — A parolee charged with donning a flesh-colored rubber mask to terrorize and rob two North Shore businesses is expected to plead guilty in the two cases.

But first, Raymond Wallace wants to figure out a way to serve his time outside Massachusetts, his lawyer told a judge yesterday.

Wallace, 35, is charged in the December 2010 holdup of the former Borders Books and Music on Route 114 in Peabody and with another holdup in March 2011 at the Salem PetSmart.

Police later found a cache of weapons and tools, including a battering ram, in the parking spot for his Brittania Circle condo.

Wallace was on parole at the time for the armed burglary of a farm stand in Waltham in 2001.

He had been scheduled yesterday to accept a proposed 13- to 25-year state prison term being offered by Salem Superior Court Judge David Lowy if Wallace pleaded guilty before trial.

A large group of Salem police detectives who worked on the case and Salem police Chief Paul Tucker were present in court yesterday, expecting to see Wallace plead guilty. Instead, Wallace simply glared over at the officers as he was led into the courtroom, and his attorney, Ray Buso, asked to approach the sidebar.

Buso, who spoke loudly enough to be heard in the gallery, told Lowy that his client is in fear of serving his time in Massachusetts and hopes that he can be sent to New Hampshire to do the time. Wallace has another pending case in that state.

With the assent of the judge, the case was postponed until May 15.