SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

April 27, 2013

Police: Marine snubs judge's order

Facebook photo of AK-47 lands suspect in custody

DANVERS — A Marine sergeant charged with going on a destructive rampage in his Route 1 apartment and assaulting his father in January has been put in custody, after officials say he flouted a judge’s order to surrender all of his firearms to police while the charges were pending.

Police and a probation officer supervising Matthew Fairbanks have turned over photos taken from Fairbanks’ Facebook page that show him holding an AK-47 rifle, laughing with his hand on his belly, with a caption that says, “So then the judge says to me, he says, you will surrender all your firearms.”

That gun was found this week by Peabody police, being held by friends of Fairbanks who are not licensed to have that type of weapon.

And that, argued prosecutor Alex Grimes during a hearing late Thursday and another hearing yesterday, is a violation of the terms of Fairbanks’ release while his case, which includes charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and improper storage of a firearm, is pending.

After Fairbanks’ arrest, police found what Grimes described as a “cache” of weapons in Fairbanks’ vehicle. While Fairbanks had a license to possess those weapons at the time, it has been suspended since the arrest.

Grimes said besides failing to turn over all of his guns to police, Fairbanks also missed six appointments with a probation officer who is supervising him, and left the state without permission.

Prosecutors are asking that Fairbanks now be held without bail until trial.

Fairbanks’ attorney, Michael Walsh, yesterday accused officials of “luring” his client into court so that they could arrest him.

In an affidavit, he says Fairbanks was told he had to come into court to take a random drug test and to get permission from a judge to travel out of state. Instead, he says, Fairbanks found himself in handcuffs in the courtroom.

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