Target 12

Suspect in elderly's woman's murder seeks 'confessions,' other evidence

WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — The man accused of murdering an 81-year-old Woonsocket woman is seeking to obtain his "recorded statements or confessions" in a case where his mother has insisted he would not have understood his Miranda rights.

Matthew Dusseault, 21, and Tyler Grenon, 24, were arrested last July in connection with the murder of Constance Gauthier. The charges against Grenon were dropped in January due to what investigators said was a lack of physical evidence, but a grand jury indicted Dusseault.

Dusseault told police he was at the scene of the March 2016 stabbing but claimed he saw Grenon stab Gauthier.

Dusseault's mother Paula Gauthier, who said her family is related to the victim, told Target 12 her son has been mentally disabled most of his life, has an IQ below 70, and would not have understood his rights when he provided his statement to police.

The motion filed by Dusseault's attorney Kevin Salvaggio requested other evidence as well, including "statement of confessions" made by Grenon.

"While I do not mean to discredit any of the police work done this far, this is a very troubling case," Salvaggio said. "In this case, they took severe advantage of Matthew's diminished capacity."

Woonsocket Deputy Chief Michael Lemoine has said the department has "no comment" about Dusseault's "intellectual capacity and our investigation."

Various affidavits connected to the case included statements from Dusseault, but none from Grenon.

The alleged motive has not been released and no one involved with the case has commented on whether the murder weapon was ever recovered.

According to a search warrant affidavit filed by Woonsocket police, DNA found at the scene "was matched to the father of Paula Gauthier...or a biological son."

Gauthier said the DNA could've been left at the scene by her son at an earlier date since he had been in the house before to help her "with groceries [and] numerous things in [Constance Gauthier's] house."

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

Dusseault's mother has also asked questions about other potential suspects named in search warrants filed last year to search a phone and a Woonsocket apartment.

"It states clearly how someone sees someone come home covered in blood and they talk about how they rob this woman," Gauthier said.

Court records indicate one of the men named in the document was arrested about three months after the Gauthier murder for a break-in and assault of an elderly North Smithfield man.

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


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