CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) - Convicted so-called "thrill" killer Alfred Brissette will likely be released from prison without serving his full 35-year sentence. The main question now is how soon he'll get out.
The Rhode Island Parole Board met Wednesday and once again revisited Brissette's case after an undisclosed detail in his plan for release fell through last month. Brissette was granted parole last year but his plan for life on the outside disintegrated after Target 12 ran a series of reports about his pending release.
"We have just met with inmate Brissette and this matter is being continued until 2/13/13 so we may obtain further information concerning his release plan," board administrator Matthew Degnan wrote in an email.
The parole board remains tight-lipped about their meetings with Brissette and its chairman declined to be interviewed regarding the case.
Inmates seeking parole must present the board with details describing where they will live and work - or go to school - if they are released. The board also considers several factors including the crime itself and the inmate's disciplinary record in prison.
In 2004 Brissette pleaded no contest to murder charges for his role in the 1999 beating death of 38-year old Jeanette Descoteaux of Woonsocket. He was sentenced to 60 years with 35 to serve and was scheduled to be released in 2034. Brissette was granted parole in June and he earned more than 1,600 days of "good time" credit, which would have moved his release date up to 2028 if he had not secured parole, according to the R.I. Department of Corrections.
Carol Turner – a friend of the victim – said she met with Parole Board Chairman Dr. Kenneth Walker and Degnan last week and was told it would be illegal for the parole board to rescind their earlier decision.
"As far as I can see they are trying to get a new plan for release for him," Turner said. "The last [plan] fell apart. I hope every one falls apart."
Turner said she was told at the meeting that the board had been sued in the past for reversing a decision and it's her impression they were trying to avoid that with Brissette.
When asked in an email about Turner's comments regarding a potential lawsuit Degnan responded, "what was told to Ms. Turner is that the board cannot reverse its decision on victim notification alone."
"We continue to review the matter to continue to gather information concerning his release plan," he added.
Turner has complained that no one close to the victim was notified about Brissette's parole hearing. Descoteaux's mother passed away several years after the crime and Turner claims she was supposed to be on a list but learned of the release through media reports.
By law the board is required to post parole hearings in the state's largest daily newspaper, The Providence Journal.
"Had it been advertised in the Woonsocket call I would have seen it," Turner said.
The parole board met with Brissette inside the medium security facility at the Adult Correctional Facility where he is being housed. The meeting was closed to the media as well as friends and family of the victim.
Court records reveal Brissette and his co-conspirator, Marc Girard, lured Descoteaux to the woods of Burrillville with a promise to supply her with cocaine.
According to court documents, Brissette and Girard "had conspired to kill and bury a random female victim" 18 months prior to the murder, even going so far as to purchase a shovel with the intent of digging a grave.
Investigators say when the trio arrived at George Washington Park in Burrillville, Girard left the vehicle to relieve himself. Brissette then demanded Descoteaux have sex with him in exchange for cocaine.
"After that, Brissette reached into the back of the Blazer for a plastic bag containing a lug wrench and smashed it into Jeanette's head," according to court records. "Jeanette was stunned and asked Brissette what he was doing, to which he responded by again striking her head with the lug wrench."
Still naked, Descoteaux ran from her attackers through the woods, but the men eventually caught up and began beating her with a lug wrench and a shovel.
Court records say Girard confessed to police that he dealt the fatal blow: "I was just trying to put her out of her misery. I didn't want her laying out there for days still alive, bleeding."
Girard was sentenced to life behind bars and lost a bid for another trial.
Copyright WPRI 12
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