Lapointe hearing May 7, 2010

The defense lawyers trying to clear Richard Lapointe of the horrendous 1987 murder of Mrs. Bernice Martin began an attack in court last Friday on a detective who they said secured the mentally disabled man’s questionable confession after a series of suggestive and, at times, threatening interrogations.

Much of the testimony Friday focused on a secretly recorded police interview of Lapointe’s ex-wife, Karen Lapointe-Martin, who also is disabled. On the recording, former Manchester police Det. Michael Morrissey told her that she could be charged with hindering prosecution and lose custody of her preteen son unless she provided him with “some very important details.”

In a long question and answer session with Det. Morrissey that is scheduled to continue when the hearing resumes July 6, Lapointe lawyer Paul Casteleiro elicited responses that also showed the Manchester Police Department charged Lapointe with murder even though it had evidence that contradicted key points in the confession he ultimately gave to Det. Morrissey. Det. Morrissey said he either wasn’t aware of the contradictory evidence or wasn’t aware of its significance during his three- or four-hour interview with Lapointe that led to the confession.

In my previous posts, it is described in detail what the four confessions state and how they differ from the crime scene. Most notably, the manner in which Mrs. Martin was attacked and murdered.

As a refresher, here is confession III. Please note what the differences in the fonts reflect:

Cursivethe original text, literally taken from court documents and evidence
Boldinconsistencies with timelines, crime scene, autopsy, etc
NormalMy comments

Confession III

“After being home awhile I left to walk the dog. I then walked back up to Bernice’s apartment (Remember that the police found Lapointe at King’s without a dog. They did not find a dog inside Mrs. Martin’s apartment or anywhere else) and she invited me in. We each had a cup of coffee, I think Bernice had tea and I sat on the couch. I remember having my matches and my smoking pipe in my jacket pocket.

After my coffee I went into the bathroom. When I came out Bernice was in the bedroom combing her hair. She was wearing a pink house coat type of outer wear with no bra. (Police did not find a pink housecoat at the crime scene). I could see her breasts when she bent over. (Mrs. Martin was 88, known for her modesty, and was always properly dressed). I grabbed her with my hand around her waist area. When I did that she pushed me. I threw her on the bed and took off her underwear because I wanted to have intercourse with her (Mrs. Martin was wearing a blouse that was cut open!). I got my penis inside her for a few strokes and then pulled out and masturbated (Mrs. Martin was raped with a blunt object). I did cum on the bed spread when I was finished. I had already thrown her underwear on the right side of the bed (So after two years, he remembers this detail, or maybe he was coached or shown a crime scene photo?).

After the sex she said she was going to tell my wife Karen. I then went to the kitchen and got a steak knife with a hard plastic brown handle and stabbed Bernice in the stomach while she was laying on the couch. (There was no forensic evidence she was stabbed while on the couch. She was stabbed on the bed). The rest of the incident I do not recall although I admit to having strangled her. (He left out the three fires he supposedly set. Lapointe later explained that he strangled Mrs. Martin with his bare hands. The coroner’s report however, stated that Mrs. Martin suffered a compression strangulation caused by pressure with a blunt object to the right side of her neck. There were no contusions on the opposite sides of the neck to support manual strangulation. The police never checked the apartment for blunt objects that could have been used to either rape and/or strangle Mrs. Martin.)”

All four confessions can be found in the previously mentioned post “Who really killed Mrs. Bernice Martin?”

Whoever raped and murdered Mrs. Martin was a raging, strong, and violent man. Lapointe is known for not being violent or strong at all. Whoever committed the crime set fire to places he touched. Lapointe is clumsy and not very intelligent. Would he have had the sense to remember all the places he touched?

The timeline the police wishes us to believe gives Lapointe 30 to 45 minutes to walk the family dog, take a 10 minute walk to Mrs. Martin’s apartment, drink coffee, rape her, bind her, stab her, set fire to the apartment, walk back in another 10 minutes, and sit and watch TV in the same clothes without Karen noticing any sweat or stains. Do you think this is possible?

One note about strategy:

Many doubt whether Lapointe is innocent. However, his Dandy Walker Syndrome is beyond doubt. Now, Dandy Walker Syndrome is a genetic defect, right? Genetics…DNA…Are you following Vidocq’s thinking? The best strategy to get Lapointe’s name cleared is by showing the courts whether the forensic evidence found at the crime scene contains DNA with or without that genetic defect.

Read the Hartford Courant article here.