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Board skeptical of paroling convicted killer

Members grill Doucette on ’87 fatal shooting

Charles W. Doucette listened to witnesses during his hearing before the state Parole Board Tuesday.

WENDY MAEDA/GLOBE STAFF

Charles W. Doucette listened to witnesses during his hearing before the state Parole Board Tuesday.

Members of the Massachusetts Parole Board voiced grave reservations Tuesday about granting parole again for convicted murderer Charles W. “Chuckie’’ Doucette Jr., even though he was found not guilty of the domestic abuse charges that led to his arrest last year. Board members said Doucette made contradictory statements about the 1987 fatal shooting that landed him in prison in the first place.

Josh Wall, the board’s chairman, also said that Doucette had been sentenced to seven life sentences for the 1987 shooting and additional crimes, including two 1991 home invasions, and questioned whether Doucette had been punished sufficiently.

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“I think with the amount of punishment, the amount of time you served, the question is, was it enough time to rehabilitate you?’’ Wall asked.

A Parole Board spokesman said the board does not expect to render a decision in the case for several months.

Eitan Goldberg, a lawyer for Doucette, faulted the board for spending much of the 3 1/2-hour hearing on Doucette’s past crimes, rather than his conduct since his original 2007 parole. “I don’t think [the past] is relevant to the question of whether he’s dangerous now,’’ Goldberg said.

Goldberg also said the board should have spent more time reviewing Doucette’s acquittal on the February 2011 assault charges leveled by his former girlfriend, as well as Doucette’s record of passing drug and alcohol tests, and his work as an independent construction contractor.

“A false allegation shouldn’t be the thing that triggers him going back to prison,’’ Goldberg said.

But board member Roger L. Michel Jr., who led the questioning of Doucette, said it was appropriate for the board to “make a global assessment’’ of Doucette’s past criminal activity and his life outside prison, suggesting Doucette had engaged in a pattern of romantic attachments to women with substance abuse problems that led to brushes with the law.

The most contentious moments occurred after board member Cesar A. Archilla questioned Doucette about his 1987 shooting of Raymond Bufalino of Salem, who was shot twice, once in the mouth and once behind the ear.

At yesterday’s hearing, Doucette said he shot Bufalino from outside Bufalino’s car. The first shot, he said, was accidental, and occurred after Bufalino hit the hand he used to hold his gun. Doucette said he fired the second shot because he was scared.

But Archilla said the odds of the shooting unfolding the way Doucette described it “are virtually zero’’ and asked Doucette if he put his gun in Bufalino’s mouth.

“No way, at no point did that happen,’’ Doucette said.

Doucette also said he kept the gun he used to kill Bufalino in his car.

But Wall said that Doucette provided a “more credible’’ account during his initial parole hearing, in 2006, when he said he carried the gun under his shirt in a holster and used it for protection while dealing cocaine.

“I don’t remember making that statement,’’ Doucette said.

Michael Rezendes can be reached at rezendes@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @RezGlobe.

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