Chief James McIntyre
47 Central Street
Stoneham, MA 02180-2044
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Stoneham Police Praise Parole Denial for Convicted Murderer
Douglas Dukette Sentenced to Life in Prison in 2000 for Murder of Richard Comeau
STONEHAM — Police Chief James McIntyre is pleased to report that a convicted murderer was denied parole recently after only serving 15 years of a life sentence for killing a friend in 1999.
At his first parole hearing since being convicted, a panel of four Parole Board Members unanimously denied the parole request of DOUGLAS DUKETTE, AGE 52. He will next be eligible in five years.
In February of 1999, Dukette shot his roommate and friend Richard Comeau, who he had met a year earlier through their work in Lynn, at their apartment in Stoneham. After the murder, Dukette traveled to Boston and bragged to a man he met at a bar that he had killed his roommate, showed him Comeau’s wallet, and told him about the .357 Magnum that “was still smoking.” The man immediately reported the incident to the Boston Police Department, who upon frisking Dukette, found Comeau’s wallet and car keys. They alerted Stoneham Police, who entered the apartment in question and found Comeau’s body with a single gunshot wound to the head.
“Richard Comeau tried to help his troubled friend and roommate, and he was murdered for his efforts,” Chief McIntyre said. “The Parole Board came to the same conclusion as we did and the Comeau family did: Douglas Dukette is not fit to live in society, and he should remain in prison.”
At the trial in 2000, Dukette claimed he was drunk when the incident occurred and he accidentally shot Comeau. Dukette had a history of drinking and criminal activity prior to the murder. He was previously charged 12 separate times for operating under the influence of alcohol, nine of which resulted in criminal convictions, in addition to many other district court criminal convictions, including domestic assault and battery, assault with a dangerous weapon, and two counts of assault and battery of a police officer.
Chief McIntyre was actually the first officer who arrived on the scene at Comeau’s apartment in 1999. In a letter, he recommended to the parole board at the hearing in January that Dukette should not be released.
“There is no question of one’s intent when pointing a gun at someone’s face and pulling the trigger. By the nature of this act and taking into consideration Mr. Dukette’s past criminal history, he is a dangerous individual who should remain incarcerated of the entirety of his sentence,” Chief McIntyre wrote in a letter advocating against parole. “Not only did Mr. Comeau’s family have to deal with his death, but come to terms with the violent manner in which he died. Further, the crime of murder shakes a community to its core and has a profound impact on its residents’ perception of safety.”
The Board’s decision was announced in late September.
Although Dukette has changed his view of events since the trial – he previously claimed it was an accident, and now says that his ‘irresponsible actions’ created the situation – the Parole Board unanimously decided against releasing him for several reasons, including his failure to properly take responsibility for his actions. .
“Board Members saw no meaningful distinction between Dukette’s version at trial and his current version [of events]. He is still maintaining that he had no motive, no intent, and no willful or purposeful action in committing the murder,” the board stated in its decision. “Douglas Dukette committed a senseless murder of an altruistic man who had provided guidance, assistance, and support to Dukette. Despite fifteen years of incarceration and some program involvement, Dukette shows little evidence of rehabilitation.”