By PHILLIP BANTZ
The Keene Sentinel: May 15, 2009
A 76-year-old woman, too weak to stand for the judge, admitted Thursday to her role in a murder-for-hire plot targeting her grandson’s mother.
Constance “Connie” Boldini pleaded guilty to criminal solicitation to commit murder as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors. She was taken from Cheshire County Superior Court to N.H. State Prison to serve a sentence of 41/2 to 15 years.
If she had opted for a trial and was convicted by a jury, she could have faced a maximum prison sentence of 15 to 30 years.
Boldini’s blank criminal record prior to the September 2008 murder plot and her age played a role in the sentence she received, Cheshire County Attorney Peter W. Heed said in court. Her son, Guido “Tony” Boldini, also told police he masterminded the plot, he said.
Guido Boldini, 43, pleaded guilty in April to the same charge his mother was sentenced on and received eight to 20 years in prison. He barely spoke and expressed little emotion during his sentencing hearing.
He wanted Michelle Hudon dead because he was involved in a custody battle over a 4-year-old boy he had with her. He believed that the boy was being abused at Hudon’s house, according to court testimony.
Hudon and Guido Boldini’s relationship had fallen apart and she planned to sell her house in Hancock, located next door to the ramshackle residence Constance Boldini shared with Guido Boldini, and move away with her children.
Guido Boldini told Hudon she would have to take his son “over my dead body,” Heed said. But Guido Boldini apparently wanted Hudon to die instead.
Days before the murder plot crumbled, Constance Boldini walked into Gino’s Bar & Grill on Court Street in Keene and asked for the owner, Gino C. Mola, who thought the woman was collecting donations for a fundraiser, Heed said.
Mola told Constance Boldini he was too busy to talk and asked her to return the next day, which she did. She told Mola that she “understood he was a man who could get things done,” Heed said.
Constance Boldini then told Mola that her son was having trouble with a woman and “needed her out of the picture immediately,” Heed said. She left the bar after giving Mola her contact information, he said.
When reached after Constance Boldini’s sentencing hearing, Mola said he had no idea why the Boldinis chose him to find a hit man and declined further comment.
After speaking with Constance Boldini, Mola went straight to the Keene police and agreed to allow investigators to record his phone conversations with the Boldinis and set up surveillance at his business, Heed said.
The police tracked down Hudon to warn her of the murder plot, and they also investigated the claims of abuse involving the son she had with Guido Boldini, Heed said. The investigation determined the claims were bogus, he said.
Hudon told investigators that she wanted to leave Guido Boldini because he was “controlling” and “domineering,” Heed said.
She also said that Guido Boldini easily manipulated Constance Boldini, who said in court that she suffered from nervous breakdowns and had to be hospitalized for months at a time throughout her life.
As the investigation against the Boldinis progressed, Hudon and her children were relocated from their home to a safe, undisclosed location.
The police found a N.H. Attorney General’s Drug Task Force agent who agreed to go undercover as a hit man named “John,” Heed said.
John scheduled a meeting with the Boldinis in a vehicle wired for video and audio surveillance in the parking lot outside Gino’s Sept. 18, 2008.
While the agent asked both Boldinis to show up, only Constance Boldini made an appearance, Heed said.
Guido Boldini was seen driving up and down Court Street in a borrowed car as Constance Boldini sat in John’s vehicle, Heed said. Guido Boldini feared he was being set up, he said.
The shopping center where Gino’s is located was surrounded by the police and a SWAT team during the meeting.
John eventually convinced Guido Boldini to park the borrowed car and step into the wired vehicle after telling Constance Boldini that he would not kill Hudon until he sat down face-to-face with both of his clients, Heed said.
With Guido Boldini sitting in the front passenger seat of John’s vehicle and his mother in the back seat, they hashed out a deal to pay $10,000 for the hit on Hudon, Heed said.
The duo said they had a $12,000 insurance claim coming, which investigators later confirmed, and would use that money to pay John after Hudon was dead, he said.
John still wanted a down payment for the hit, so in what Heed described as a “somewhat bizarre scene” the Boldinis began searching through their wallets for cash — Connie Boldini came up with $35 and Guido Boldini found $65.
After giving John the cash and digital photographs of Hudon, the two stepped out into the parking lot and the police swooped in, Heed said.
Connie Boldini apologized almost immediately after she was handcuffed, saying “I’m just a desperate old woman,” Heed said.
Guido Boldini told the police: “She had nothing to do with the hit. It was all my idea,” Heed said.
When the judge asked Constance Boldini if she had anything to say before she was taken to prison, she declined in a fragile voice.
“I think it’s pretty well been said, your honor,” she said.