BY JULIE MANGANIS
---- — SALEM — A Lafayette Street woman who had been away since before Christmas said she got a surprise Sunday night when she returned home and found her ex-boyfriend in what used to be their bedroom, watching television.
Police arrested Edward McCusker Jr., 30, on a charge of breaking and entering in the night with intent to commit a felony, but yesterday, a Salem District Court judge suggested that it sounds more like a case of trespassing.
The woman told police that she and McCusker had broken up in November and that he wasn’t welcome at her apartment, prosecutor Lynsey Legier told Judge Dunbar Livingston during McCusker’s arraignment yesterday.
When McCusker realized that the woman had returned home, he grabbed his own jewelry, which he’d left on top of a dresser, then fled out a window, according to police. Police surmised that’s also how he got inside the house. Officers caught up with him a short distance away.
Defense lawyer William O’Hare suggested that his client may still have a key to the apartment — an apartment, the lawyer noted, that police actually listed as McCusker’s address on the very same complaint charging him with breaking and entering.
O’Hare described the couple as having an “on again, off again” relationship and told the judge that McCusker insists he had permission to be there.
A probation officer later noted that McCusker has been giving her an address of 27 Salem St.
While the prosecutor wanted $500 bail and the probation officer wanted McCusker held until a probation violation hearing (he’s currently under a suspended sentence in an unrelated case), Livingston released McCusker on the condition that he stay away from his ex and the apartment.
The judge also urged prosecutors to look into whether McCusker was overcharged.
A status hearing is scheduled for Feb. 12.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.