Defense claims state has not released any evidence in Woonsocket murder case

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — Defense attorneys for the suspect in the deadly stabbing of an elderly Woonsocket woman claim the state has not provided them with any evidence.

Matthew Dusseault’s attorneys filed a second motion for discovery Tuesday, with the 10-page document requesting the inspection of police interview notes, recordings, physical objects, scientific tests and all other evidence gathered in the 2016 murder investigation.

An initial motion for discovery was filed in late March.

Dusseault, 21, and Tyler Grenon, 24, were arrested last July in connection with the murder of 81-year-old Constance Gauthier.

A grand jury indicted Dusseault in January but the charges against Grenon, whose father lived next door to Gauthier, were dropped due to what investigators said was a lack of physical evidence.

Dusseault’s attorney Kevin Salvaggio told Target 12, “we don’t have anything other than what Matthew’s mother has given us,” adding he did not think the attorney general’s office has what the defense is looking for.

“If they had it, they’d turn it over,” Salvaggio said. “It makes me wonder what was presented to the grand jury.”

Woonsocket Deputy Police Chief Michael Lemoine said, “the AG’s office has all the evidence in the case as far as the police department is concerned.”

According to a search warrant affidavit filed by police last summer, DNA found in Gauthier’s home “was matched to the father of” Dusseault’s mother “or a biological son.”

Salvaggio said he was told other DNA evidence was at the scene as well.

“Through discussions, we were told several fingerprints and DNA from others was in the house that didn’t belong there,” Salvaggio said.

Dusseault’s mother Paula Gauthier and his attorneys have also questioned whether Dusseault understood his Miranda rights when he was questioned by police for several hours the day he was arrested.

According to Paula Gauthier, her son has an IQ below 70 and would not have understood his rights.

In the affidavit, Dusseault admitted he was in the house at the time of the murder but claimed he saw Grenon stab Gauthier and tried to push him off her.

There are no indications Grenon provided any statements to the police.

Gauthier was stabbed more than 60 times, according to the autopsy, and police said the scene was staged to look like a robbery.

A suspected motive has never been released and investigators have not commented whether the murder weapons were found.

Send tips to Target 12 Investigator Walt Buteau at wbuteau@wpri.com and follow him on Twitter @wbuteau.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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