Mass. man with extensive criminal record gets 8-14 years in prison

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FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — A Middleboro man with a criminal record dating back 16 years, who violated probation at least six times, will serve eight to 14 years in state prison, according to the office of Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn III.

William Monopoli, 34, was arrested in February at a hotel in Smithfield for being a fugitive from Plymouth County – allegedly having cut off a GPS bracelet — and the state of Montana.

“This is a violent career criminal who presents a significant danger to the public,” Quinn’s statement said in part.

Monopoli, who had also used the alias William Burnham-Shurtleff, had been on probation for a holdup in 2003 at a Middleboro gas station but was subsequently charged in connection with several other incidents:

  • stealing a car in Virginia (Feb. 2005)
  • taking police on high-speed chases with that car in Middleboro (Feb. 2005 and March 2005)
  • biting a sheriff’s deputy in Florida who was trying to detain him (Aug. 2005)
  • running a red light and crashing into six other vehicles in Concord, Mass. (Apr. 2011)
  • trying to escape police by speeding onto I-93 southbound in Boston, then Route 24, finally escaping on foot. (May 2011)

In Montana, he was charged with holding up a supermarket pharmacy for painkillers in August 2014.

Monopoli was not charged with any crimes in Bristol County, Quinn noted, but his probation supervision had been transferred there.

He pleaded guilty in 2007 to charges in Massachusetts and received probation; he also received probation from Virginia for crimes there.

The district attorney’s office had asked for a life sentence for Monopoli, considering how often he’d violated probation and tried to elude justice.

Quinn went on to say Monopoli’s case shows that courts need to seriously consider probation decisions.

“It took years to bring this defendant to justice,” he said. “A lengthy state prison sentence was warranted in order to protect the public.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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