SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

February 16, 2011

Paroled murderer arrested again

BEVERLY — Charles "Chucky" Doucette told police officers that he feared he was going to prison for the rest of his life when they arrested him near his home Monday.

The fear wasn't simply because of the charges Doucette, 51, of Peabody, faces following a domestic dispute with his girlfriend.

It's because Doucette is out on parole for the 1987 murder of a Salem man, Raymond Bufalino.

Whether Doucette will go back to prison for the rest of his life following his arrest is a decision up to the state's Parole Board. But Monday's arrest is once again sparking outcry at the board's practice of releasing violent convicts who have been sentenced to multiple life terms in prison.

Yesterday, Doucette pleaded not guilty at his arraignment at Salem District Court to charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (a motor vehicle), threatening to commit a crime, and witness intimidation. He will be held without bail until a dangerousness hearing on Feb. 24.

Police said Doucette dragged his girlfriend down the road as she leaned into his truck grabbing onto his sweatshirt. He later threatened to put a "bullet in her head" if she called the police, according to the police report.

Monday's arrest is not the first time Doucette has been in trouble since his parole four years ago. Eighteen months after his release, he was arrested in Haverhill and charged with raping a woman, but that charge was later dropped.

However, Doucette's parole earned the scorn of his murder victim's family.

At the time, Margaret Spenlinhauer, Bufalino's aunt, called Doucette's parole "a travesty of justice."

"A life is a life," Spenlinhauer said after the Parole Board's decision was announced. "How hard is it to understand that a life sentence should be a life sentence?"

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