SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

March 14, 2013

Man convicted in '91 slaying is paroled, again

BY JULIE MANGANIS
STAFF WRITER

---- — PEABODY — A former Peabody man who stabbed his brother-in-law to death in 1991 has been paroled for a second time — this time with the condition that he stay out of Peabody.

Kevin Wood, now 52, was ordered to stay away from the city unless he has permission to visit family members who still live there.

Wood was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of George Aulson, 38.

There had been a confrontation between the two men after Aulson suspected Wood of tipping off Peabody police to a marijuana-growing operation and showed up at his trailer. Wood maintained that he acted in self-defense, though testimony at the trial suggested that at the time he was stabbed, Aulson was not armed.

Wood won parole in 2010, on his second try, and, according to a Parole Board decision issued recently, did well initially. He took part in rehabilitation and drug and alcohol programs, found a job as a laborer, and had his own apartment. He later moved in with a girlfriend on the South Shore.

But in September of that year, Wood was issued a warning after a confrontation with Aulson’s brother, during which Wood was punched. Wood was ordered to wear a GPS bracelet and stay out of Peabody.

Then, last summer, his parole was revoked after a domestic dispute that escalated to a car crash between the two, according to the Parole Board. The woman was injured. When Wood’s parole officer showed up shortly after the incident for a routine visit, Wood lied to him, denying he had left his home.

During a hearing in November, Aulson’s wife, brother, son, mother-in-law and a cousin, as well as Essex County Assistant District Attorney Elin Graydon, all testified in opposition to releasing Wood again.

But the board cited Wood’s “substantial rehabilitation” during his 19 years in prison, as well as his ongoing efforts, family support and the fact that he did not face any criminal charges after the domestic dispute last summer.

“He made unfortunate choices that led to his revocation, but he did not relapse or commit a new crime,” the Parole Board wrote in a unanimous decision.

Besides the order to stay out of Peabody, Wood will be under a 10 p.m. curfew.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.