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Archive for the ‘MISCELLANEOUS CRIMES’ Category

By PHILLIP BANTZ
Sentinel Staff

The Keene Sentinel: June 03, 2009
WESTMORELAND — Edward Baldasaro. Michael Baldasaro. John DiGregorio. Giovanni Mageri. Karl Spear. William Symare. Geo. Two Ton.

His real name is John P. Baldasaro, a quick-witted, articulate 45-year-old convicted felon detained at the Cheshire County jail in Westmoreland, accused of robbing a pair of local convenience store owners while masquerading as a U.S. marshal.

Baldasaro, who has a history of impersonating federal agents and police, is wanted throughout New England on charges ranging from vehicle theft to kidnapping to being a fugitive from justice.

When he leaves New Hampshire, he expects to serve 19 years in a federal penitentiary for violating parole in Vermont. He’s already spent more than half his life behind bars.

“Am I worried about what’s on the other side of that fence — a prison? No,” Baldasaro said during a recent jailhouse interview.

In the mid-’90s, Baldasaro was convicted of robbing and kidnapping a couple in Vermont while posing as a state trooper. He was featured on the television show “America’s Most Wanted” for the crime, which landed him in prison for 12 years. He was released last September.

“I committed the crime, without a doubt,” Baldasaro said. “At the time I thought they were drug dealers. Unfortunately the people that got robbed were the wrong folks.”

Baldasaro has a wife who works at a law firm in Boston. They were married in a Virginia prison. His wife has a young foster son who calls Baldasaro his father. The boy often asks when he’ll see his dad again. Baldasaro also has an adult son who lives in Texas. And one of Baldasaro’s brothers is a member of the N.H. House.

“We had good parents. He just chose a different road. He had issues mentally growing up,” said state Rep. Alfred P. Baldasaro, 52, of Londonderry. “He was always hyper. He was always on the go.”

‘Champagne taste with beer money’

A sword-pierced heart and “Death Before Dishonor” is tattooed on John Baldasaro’s right forearm. Another tattoo placed higher on the same arm claims allegiance to the Dirty White Boys prison gang, which associates with the Aryan Brotherhood and Texas Syndicate, but does not follow strict white supremacist philosophies.

On his left forearm is a tattoo of a baby devil clutching a pitchfork between the words “Born To Be Busted.”

“When I got that tattoo I was 15. I was a little punk kid. We can sit here and look back from 40 years later and say, ‘Was this destiny?’ I’m not going to take that position,” he said.

John Baldasaro grew up in Cambridge, Mass. — his grandfather was once the city’s mayor — with four sisters and three brothers. He said he spent a lot of time on the streets of South Boston.

“I had an extensive juvenile record,” he said.

Now 6 feet tall and 260 pounds, John Baldasaro was also a large kid, which earned him the enduring nickname “Two Ton” around the same time he was running the streets and committing small crimes.

A doctor prescribed the young John Baldasaro a drug similar to Ritalin to control his hyperactivity, and his parents did all they could to keep him out of trouble, Alfred Baldasaro said.

“Our mother especially was a wreck when he was out on the streets, worrying if he was going to get into trouble,” he said. “He was the type that would not get a real gun, but a fake gun. She worried that he would be shot with real bullets.”

In the early ’80s, five years after Alfred Baldasaro joined the Marines, John Baldasaro visited him at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

John Baldasaro befriended a Marine who had just cashed a paycheck, lured him away from the base during a night of drinking, and then robbed him and left him stranded, Alfred Baldasaro said.

“My brother is a scammer. My brother has mental issues. His mind races too fast. But he’s no dummy. He’s a very intelligent kid,” he said.

“John wants the big cars and the money and the nice house. He wants that champagne taste with beer money.”

In January, four months before John Baldasaro’s latest arrest, Alfred Baldasaro spoke with his troubled brother for the first time in 18 years.

“I wouldn’t give him my cell number or home address because I was worried that he might come over and help himself to what I’ve got at my house,” Alfred Baldasaro said. “He should have never been released. They should have kept him on a program to help him and treat his psychiatric issues.”

‘He was just really, really smart’

On the morning of May 11, John Baldasaro flashed a holstered gun and badge and convinced the owners of Khyber Convenience Store and the Big Deal store on Route 9 in Chesterfield that he was a U.S. marshal investigating a counterfeit money operation, according to police.

“The guy was professional. He was just really, really smart,” Paul Saba, owner of Big Deal, said shortly after he was robbed. “I was working with him as an agent. I was trying to help this federal agent with what he was trying to do.”

After both store owners handed over money from their cash registers, Baldasaro took Khyber owner Fayyaz Awan to his bank and convinced him to withdraw money from his account for supposed counterfeit testing, according to prosecutors.

Baldasaro allegedly scammed Saba and Awan out of more than $10,860.

He adamantly denies committing any type of robbery or kidnapping in Chesterfield.

“Did I put a gun to somebody and rob them? No. Did I actually threaten to take something from somebody? No. Did I tell somebody, ‘You must go do this?’ No,” he said.

“I find it ludicrous that the police department would state that it was I who committed this particular crime. I was clearly just a known subject that they decided they wanted to put a particular crime on.”

Prosecutors say they have surveillance images of Baldasaro in a bank when the robber was taking money from Awan’s account. He admits to being in the bank, but said he wasn’t doing anything illegal.

Preparing for yet another legal battle

Law libraries in the various prisons where Baldasaro has lived off and on for 28 years have given him a working knowledge of the legal system. He worked as a law clerk in one prison library. He also obtained his GED in prison.

He represented himself in court during a trial in White River Junction, Vt., that resulted in his latest stint in prison. He was already serving a three-year sentence in Connecticut for impersonating a U.S. marshal when the trial began.

Baldasaro said he represented himself during an armed robbery trial in Boston, and the jury found him not guilty.

“Any good court case, I guess it’s like playing chess,” he said. “It’s about strategy. That’s what it really comes down to.”

Baldasaro said he plans to defend himself against the charges tied to the Chesterfield robberies.

“Do I think that Cheshire County would be so naive to think I would get a public ‘pretender’ who’s going to come in and tell me he’s got 70 other cases and he’s going to give my case about five minutes a week?” he said. “I’m not going to allow that to happen.”

An evidence hearing in Keene District Court was scheduled today for Baldasaro.

Cheshire County Attorney Peter W. Heed said today that he was unaware of Baldasaro’s intent to represent himself in court.

“If he wants to handle his own defense, that will be up to the judge to decide whether he’s competent to do that,” Heed said.

If probable cause is found at today’s hearing, Baldasaro’s case will be moved to Cheshire County Superior Court.

Baldasaro said he will not negotiate a guilty plea with prosecutors. He wants to face off with Heed.

“I can guarantee that this is going to be an interesting trial,” he said. “Him and I are going to have a battle.”

An endless boat ride; no place to dock

Vanessa D. Baldasaro waited a dozen years for her husband to be released from prison. They spent the time talking and dreaming. They wanted to save their money to buy a house. John Baldasaro wanted an automotive shop.

“We had all these plans and dreams of owning our future, starting from scratch and working our way up,” she said. “And then he came out. I’d waited 12 years for this and in 12 seconds it was gone.”

They met through one of John Baldasaro’s sisters. He was in prison, but they talked over the phone and, once she thought she knew him well enough, visited him in 2000 for the first time.

“I’m African-American and he’s Italian. But we just hit it off. He actually listened to me. We took the time to really know each other first. I just understood John,” Vanessa Baldasaro said.

They were married a year after their first face-to-face meeting.

“You just call and tell the prison you want to get married on a certain day. I drove 10 hours down there and that’s what we did,” she said. “The pastor was there. He married us right there in the visiting room.”

When John Baldasaro finally left prison behind to start another life with his wife, he said he was slapped with the reality that the world had changed dramatically and no one wanted to hire him.

“Employment, I guess, in a sense, was probably not forthcoming. When I went to prison there were no cell phones, no computers,” he said. “You get out of prison after 17 years — you’re not going to be getting a job.”

Vanessa Baldasaro noticed her husband’s frustration. He became more and more restless. The life they’d planned together began to unravel.

“He wanted to catch up with what he lost and his mind just started to go too fast,” she said. “His mind just goes so fast. It could be 5 o’clock in the morning and I wake up looking for him and he’s sitting out in the living room, just thinking.”

In the mornings, he dropped her off at work at the law firm and then drove her car to his job as an oversize load escort on the highways — or at least that’s what he told her.

She said she eventually figured out that he was lying.

“The streets make him kind of crazy,” she said. “If he’s not confined … when he’s out there there’s only so much to do. He needs that confinement.”

Then her car disappeared in November. John Baldasaro said it broke down in New York and he needed her to wire him $1,000 to have it fixed. Vanessa Baldasaro said she rented a car and drove to an address in the Bronx where her husband said her car was parked.

“It was a bogus address. My car was in Boston the whole time. My sister had already wired him the money,” she said. “I was surprised he was doing all that to me. I know I’m supposed to forgive, but inside I’m still angry.”

Then one evening she was watching TV and saw John Baldasaro’s mug shot on the local news. She hadn’t seen her husband since the incident with her car. Federal agents and police throughout New England were searching for him, the newscaster said.

Her anger gave way to fear.

“When the (U.S. Marshals Service) task force was really going after him, I told them the gun they thought he had was a toy,” she said. “I was scared for him.”

John Baldasaro was arrested a few days after the Chesterfield robberies at a Manhattan hotel.

It wasn’t the first time he was nabbed in the Big Apple. Many years earlier, the authorities found him in the city and he leaped from a second-story window to avoid arrest and broke both his ankles, Alfred Baldasaro said.

Vanessa Baldasaro has begun listening to her friends who had warned her to stay away from John Baldasaro.

She said she is trying to erase him from her life, but it’s difficult. She still cries when she thinks about him going back to prison.

“I am moving on,” she said. “I still think about what we could have been together.”

Her 5-year-old foster son, Louis, who looks at John Baldasaro as a father figure, is still waiting for his dad to come home. Vanessa Baldasaro said she hints that it will be a long time before he returns, but she cannot bring herself to tell the boy the truth.

“I tell him he’s on a boat,” she said. “He’s on a boat ride and he cannot dock.”

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By PHILLIP BANTZ
Sentinel Staff
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.

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By PHILLIP BANTZ
Sentinel Staff
The Keene Sentinel: May 15, 2009

The man accused of masquerading as a U.S. marshal while robbing two business owners in Chesterfield earlier this week was nabbed Thursday by the real U.S. Marshals.

John P. Baldasaro, 45, of Somerville, Mass., was arrested without incident at a New York City hotel after tips from confidential sources put police on his trail, Deputy U.S. Marshal Jeffrey White said.

Police say Baldasaro posed as a U.S. marshal, businessman and federal agent while robbing, stealing and kidnapping in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts — he was listed among the Bay State’s most wanted.

U.S. Marshal Stephen Monier said in a statement that the string of crimes “were an attack on the reputation of U.S. Marshals, and not something that is taken lightly; the quick and successful arrest of Baldasaro by the U.S. Marshals is evidence of that.”

While Baldasaro allegedly displayed a handgun during some of the robberies, placing the barrel against one victim’s head in Massachusetts, he was unarmed when he was arrested, White said.

He declined to comment on whether Baldasaro was still driving the black Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo that was reported stolen in Maine and used during the robberies in Chesterfield.

U.S. Marshals tracked Baldasaro to the Brooklyn-Manhattan area through tips and “good old-fashioned police work,” and eventually found him at a Manhattan hotel after canvassing the area, White said.

Baldasaro will be arraigned on a charge of being a fugitive from justice in New York and then authorities will attempt to extradite him to New Hampshire, where he faces charges of robbery and kidnapping, White said.

While posing as a U.S. marshal investigating a counterfeit cash operation Monday morning, he convinced the owners of Khyber Convenience Store and Big Deal on Route 9 in Chesterfield to hand over cash from their stores, police said. He even talked one of the owners into giving him cash from his bank account, police said.

Baldasaro, who is being held without bail, may fight or waive extradition to the Granite State. If he waives extradition, he could be brought back sooner than if he fights the process.

He also faces charges of robbery, kidnapping and impersonating a police officer in Cambridge, Mass.; vehicle theft in Lincoln County, Maine; and a parole violation in Vermont stemming from a previous kidnapping conviction.

While it’s unclear which state Baldasaro will be extradited to first, White said he believed New Hampshire will be his initial stop. And that suits Chesterfield police Lt. Duane M. Chickering.

Chickering worked 16-hour shifts tracking Baldasaro alongside another detective, who spent at least 12 hours each day on the case.

“We’ve actually had the whole department working on this,” Chickering said. “The patrol units were out there doing follow-ups and the secretary was here logging all the tips we received.”

The brazenness of the robberies in Chesterfield coupled with the robber’s history of impersonating law enforcement struck a bitter chord with police and shook up the communities where the crimes occurred, Chickering said.

“People need to trust the police. When that trust is betrayed it kills everyone in law enforcement,” he said. “Now we have to work that much harder to gain everybody’s trust.”

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By PHILLIP BANTZ
Sentinel Staff
The Keene Sentinel: May 13, 2009

CHESTERFIELD — The man accused of swindling two business owners in Chesterfield has been tied to a scam and vehicle theft in Maine and an armed robbery in Massachusetts.

John P. Baldasaro, 45, of Somerville, Mass., has posed as a businessman, a federal agent and a U.S. marshal while committing the string of crimes in three states, authorities said.

Baldasaro’s mug shot is posted among Massachusetts’ most wanted and he is being sought by more than a dozen police agencies, along with the U.S. Secret Service, Homeland Security and the U.S. Marshals Service.

“We’re already getting a ton of tips from various government agencies and police agencies and a lot of citizens,” Chesterfield police Lt. Duane M. Chickering said. “Our hopes are that we are going to locate him soon.”

Baldasaro convinced a pair of Chesterfield business owners that he was a U.S. marshal investigating a counterfeit money operation Monday morning, Chickering said.

Baldasaro allegedly duped Fayyaz Awan, owner of Khyber Convenience Store, and Paul Saba, owner of Big Deal, into handing over cash from their stores on Route 9 and talked Awan into giving him cash from his bank account.

“The guy was professional. He was just really, really smart,” Saba said. “I was working with him as an agent. I was trying to help this federal agent with what he was trying to do.”

While the robber was running the con, he displayed a holstered handgun and pretended to speak with a team of other U.S. marshals on a Bluetooth-type device attached to his ear, Saba said.

Saba said he felt threatened only once during the ordeal, when the robber requested that he hand over identification.

“He forced me to give it to him,” he said. “He put his hand on the gun like he was getting ready to pull it and I said, ‘No, no, here’s my ID.’ ”

Even after the con artist took cash from both stores and drove away with Awan to pilfer his bank account, he repeatedly called Saba’s cell phone to update him on the “operation,” saying the counterfeiting suspect was under surveillance and on the verge of being arrested.

“He kept calling me every two, three minutes. He’d say, ‘We’re watching the other guy, he’s coming out of his house now,’ ” Saba said. “He told me to wait at Khyber and I was supposed to meet with him there and he would bring back my money.”

While it’s not clear why the robber targeted Khyber — an employee declined comment and Awan did not return a message — it appears that he scoped out the location before making a move, Chickering said.

“It’s apparent that the suspect had done his homework on the area,” he said. “I don’t know 100 percent why he focused on Khyber, but I know that Route 9 is easily traveled and it takes you to Vermont, Massachusetts and Canada.”

Baldasaro is wanted in Massachusetts for posing as a federal agent and luring a robbery victim with a vehicle he said he was trying to sell, according to the Cambridge Police Department.

While riding in the bait vehicle with the victim, Baldasaro ordered the man to pull over, placed a gun against his head, stole $4,000 cash and an iPhone from him, and then told him to run away or be shot, police said.

In Maine, Baldasaro is accused of posing as a Bay State businessman and defrauding a family out of $7,000 in a fraudulent investment deal, according to the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office.

He also stole a 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo from a dealership in Maine, and was driving the vehicle during the Chesterfield robberies, Chickering said. The Jeep has shiny black paint and a rear license plate with “GOV” written at an angle on its left side.

Baldasaro was last seen at about 11:30 the night of the convenience store robberies at the Riverside Hotel in West Chesterfield near the Brattleboro town line. The hotel, which is owned by Saba’s brother, was not robbed and Baldasaro’s motive in going there remains unknown.

“If he’d rented a room, we would’ve caught him,” Chickering said.

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By PHILLIP BANTZ
Sentinel Staff
The Keene Sentinel: May 05, 2009

The retrial of a man accused of robbing a Keene bank was delayed again because a core witness has indicated police misconduct and planted evidence tainted the case, court documents show.

Jesse Garcia’s retrial at Cheshire County Superior Court was scheduled to begin today after several postponements, but his court-appointed attorney, Theodore W. Barnes, was granted more time to build his case.

Garcia, 32, faces three counts of armed robbery and one count of being a felon in possession of a weapon in connection with a midday heist in August at the Bank of America in downtown Keene. His new trial date has not been set.

Barnes said during the first trial in November that Garcia was the victim of a setup and that his ex-girlfriend, Cynthia Wood, was at the center of the frame job. Wood was angry with Garcia because he left her for a stripper, Barnes said.

In asking for another continuance in the trial, Barnes cited a pair of letters Garcia received in jail from Wood. The letters “call into question the truthfulness” of what Wood told the police and a jury during Garcia’s first trial, Barnes wrote in his request.

Wood’s letters “partially identify” a person who may have planted evidence that was used to connect Garcia to the bank robbery, Barnes’ request states.

Wood also claims in the letters that police investigators were aware of evidence that proved Garcia’s innocence, but ignored it and moved forward with the case against him, according to Barnes.

Barnes and prosecutors will question Wood under oath about the letters during a court hearing scheduled later this month.

Wood could refuse to answer certain questions about the letters by invoking her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. The court would then determine if she has a valid argument to remain silent.

The process will help Barnes and prosecutors prepare questions for Wood during the retrial.

In other pretrial maneuverings, Barnes unsuccessfully attempted to keep out of court a ski mask and pellet gun Wood said she found among Garcia’s belongings and turned over to police.

Garcia’s DNA was found on the ski mask and the pellet gun, which matched witness descriptions of the bank robber’s weapon, Assistant Cheshire County Attorney Kathleen G. O’Reilly said during the first trial.

O’Reilly, the lead prosecutor in the case, did not respond to a message left at her office seeking comment on Wood’s letters to Garcia.

Cheshire County Attorney Peter W. Heed and Barnes also declined to comment on the substance of the letters, which have not been made public.

Barnes said the letters are his “priority one” in proving Garcia’s innocence. But he is still considering hiring a private investigator to interview jurors from the first trial in an effort to prove Garcia did not receive a fair trial.

Jurors who spoke with The Sentinel after the mistrial said the jury was leaning toward acquitting Garcia when they left the court’s deliberation room for a weekend break. When they returned to court Monday, the jury favored a guilty verdict.

Barnes said he suspected some jurors disobeyed the judge’s orders and read news accounts of the trial, which mentioned Garcia’s previous convictions for armed robbery. His criminal history was not disclosed during the trial.

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By PHILLIP BANTZ
Sentinel Staff

The Keene Sentinel: April 22, 2009

The Hancock man who plotted to kill the mother of his young son was sent to prison today for at least eight years as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.

Guido “Tony” Boldini, 43, pleaded guilty in Cheshire County Superior Court to one count of solicitation to commit murder, a special felony that carries a 30-year maximum prison sentence.

Boldini and his public defender, Hampton W. Howard, struck a deal with prosecutors for a N.H. State Prison sentence of eight to 20 years in exchange for the guilty plea.

Boldini answered Judge John P. Arnold’s questions about his competency and guilt during the brief hearing, but said nothing else. He was handcuffed at the waist and his head had been shaved since his arrest in September.

Boldini and his mother, Constance “Connie” Boldini, 76, were taken into custody after they met with an undercover police officer posing as a hit man named “John,” and offered him $10,000 to kill Michelle Hudon during a videotaped conversation, according to Cheshire County Attorney Peter W. Heed.

Heed said the case Keene police prepared against the Boldinis was among the tightest he’d ever seen, because of the ample evidence they were able to gather against the duo.

“That’s one of the reasons we’re here for a prompt resolution,” he said in court.

Guido Boldini hatched the murder-for-hire plan because he wanted to protect his 4-year-old son, who he believed was being abused at Hudon’s home, Howard said in an interview before today’s hearing.

“This case is fundamentally a tragedy. Our enormous love for our children and concern for their well-being can sometimes sweep away our judgment and lead us into terrible error,” he said. “Mr. Boldini was desperately concerned for the well-being of his child and simply did not believe the state could successfully protect the child.”

Guido Boldini admitted to hatching the murder plot shortly after he was arrested, and he never tried to place the blame on his mother, Heed said.

Guido Boldini also has no criminal record, which played a role in the plea deal, he said.

While Hudon was not in the courtroom, she wrote a statement that victim witness coordinator Priscilla L. DeHotman read before Guido Boldini was sent to prison.

Hudon thanked the police investigators involved in the Boldinis’ case for “the life you all saved and the lives you’ll save in the future,” along with prosecutors for the “swift and just outcome.” She also called DeHotman a “bright star in her tumultuous life.”

She said she will allow the young boy at the center of the incident to decide whether he wants to meet with Guido Boldini when he is released from prison.

The boy, who still lives with Hudon, will be “able to protect himself mentally” when that time comes, she said.

As part of the plea deal, Guido Boldini was barred from contacting Hudon.

Constance Boldini and her Keene attorney, Christopher F. Wells, struck a plea deal with prosecutors nearly two weeks after Guido Boldini negotiated his deal.

She expects to serve 41/2 to 15 years at a state prison. Her age and lack of a criminal record factored into her pending sentence, Heed said.

If a judge hands down a sentence that is harsher than Constance Boldini expects during her sentencing hearing, which has not been scheduled, she may back out of the deal and pursue a jury trial.

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By PHILLIP BANTZ
Sentinel Staff

The Keene Sentinel: April 21, 2009

The Hancock mother and son at the center of an alleged murder-for-hire plot have struck plea deals with prosecutors, court documents show.

Guido “Tony” Boldini, 43, and Constance “Connie” Boldini, 76, each face one count of solicitation to commit murder, a special felony that carries a maximum prison sentence of 30 years.

The Boldinis met with an undercover police officer acting as an assassin named “John” in September in a Keene parking lot, according to Cheshire County Attorney Peter W. Heed.

During a conversation that was captured on surveillance video inside John’s vehicle, the Boldinis agreed to pay $10,000 to have a woman murdered and provided photographs of their target, according to Heed.

Guido Boldini signed a notice of intent April 2 indicating he will plead guilty to the murder plot in exchange for a N.H. State Prison sentence of eight to 20 years.

He is expected to plead guilty in front of a judge and be sentenced Wednesday at Cheshire County Superior Court.

If the judge hands down a sentence that is harsher than Guido Boldini expected, he can back out of the deal and pursue a jury trial.

Any defendant who signs a notice of intent form is not locked into a guilty plea. The form is simply a statement of intent, and the guilty plea is not official until the defendant confirms it during a court hearing.

Twelve days after her son notified prosecutors of his intent to plead guilty, Constance Boldini took the same step.

Her pending deal is for 41/2 to 15 years at a state prison. She also may back out of the plea if she doesn’t like the judge’s sentence. Her court hearing has not been scheduled.

Constance Boldini’s age and lack of criminal record factored into her plea negotiation, Heed said.

Heed declined to comment further on the details behind the Boldinis’ plea negotiations until they have their plea and sentencing hearings in court.

Constance Boldini’s Keene attorney, Christopher F. Wells, did not respond to a message seeking comment on the case.

Guido Boldini’s public defender, Hampton W. Howard, also did not return a message seeking comment.

The apparent target of the murder-for-hire plot, Michelle Hudon, was involved in a custody dispute with Guido Boldini, her ex-boyfriend and the father of her young son, neighbors who were familiar with the situation told The Sentinel.

The neighbors also said Hudon and Guido Boldini were involved in a conflict over land. Constance Boldini owns nearly 44 acres off Bonds Corner Road in Hancock, where she and Guido Boldini lived before their arrests, according to property records. Hudon’s home sits on 5 acres at the edge of Constance Boldini’s property, and Guido Boldini believed that if he obtained Hudon’s land he would have an easier time selling his mother’s property, the neighbors said.

They said Guido Boldini believed Hancock was becoming too populated and wanted to use the profits from the sale of his mother’s property to relocate to a remote area in Canada and live off the land.

Hudon, who was trying to sell her house and land when the alleged murder plot was hatched and foiled, has not been reachable for comment.

She obtained a restraining order against Guido Boldini in March 2007 after she accused him of pulling their son out of her arms and punching her in the chest. Guido Boldini’s pending plea negotiation bars him from having any contact with Hudon.

The Boldinis have declined comment through Cheshire County jail Superintendent Richard N. Van Wickler. They remain at the jail in Westmoreland.

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