Superior court to consider case

Raymond M. Boissonault stands behind a security window in Westfield District Court as he listens to Judge Philip Contant during his arraignment on charges including attempted murder stemming from a shooting incident on Birge Avenue Friday evening. (Photo by Carl E. Hartdegen)

Raymond M. Boissonault stands behind a security window in Westfield District Court last month. (File photo by Carl E. Hartdegen)

WESTFIELD – Charges, including attempted murder, brought against a West Springfield man after a downtown shooting incident in March were dismissed in Westfield District Court after the suspect was indicted and arraigned in superior court, where stiffer sentences are possible.
The shooting occurred March 29 on Birge Avenue and was originally reported as an armed robbery in which a couple out walking was accosted by a man armed with a handgun who fired three shots and stuck the male party once, in his leg.
Police Capt. Michael McCabe said at the time that “parts of the story did not ring true” and detectives, led by Det. Sgt. Stephen K. Dickinson, continued the investigation.
McCabe called the ensuing investigation “a terrific piece of police work” after the detectives re-interviewed the victims, a resident of Powdermill Village on Union Street and her husband who lists an address in Springfield.
The detectives report that the male victim eventually conceded that the suspect was known to him and identified him as Raymond M. Boissonault, 22, of 49 Lowell St., West Springfield.
He told Dickinson that he and his wife had been walking with him on Birge Avenue when an argument developed and Boissonault, who had kept his hand in his pocket, produced a handgun and, Dickinson reports, “pointed the gun at him at eye level approximately 2 feet away” and shot at his head, missing him.
Three shots were fired and the victim was wounded in his leg.
After the suspect was identified, Dickinson reports, he was found on Main Street “coming from a known drug dealer’s house” and taken into custody.
He was found to be in possession of more than an ounce of marijuana along with cash believed to be the proceeds of the sale of marijuana.
A subsequent consensual search of his West Springfield residence revealed ammunition but no firearm was recovered.
Boissonault was arrested and subsequently arraigned on two charges of assault with intent to murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, possession of ammunition without a firearms identification card, and possession of a Class D drug with intent to distribute.
Those charges were dismissed Friday in district court to allow them to be heard in superior court where, for some of the charges, longer sentences are possible.
In district court, the maximum sentence a judge may mete out is a two and a half year term in a house of correction but, for example, the charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon could bring Boissonault a ten-year term in state prison, if heard in superior court.
The two charges of assault with intent to murder Boissonault faces must be heard in superior court as district court does not have final jurisdiction in those cases.

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