Lapointe hearing July 6, 2010

During direct examination on Tuesday, Lapointe’s attorney, Paul Casteleiro, suggested that in his quest for a confession, Detective Morrissey overlooked inconsistencies in Richard’s admission to Morrissey and failed to ask important questions.

In his confession, Richard said he had strangled 88-year-old Bernice Martin with his hands, but the medical examiner determined she had been strangled with a ligature. Lapointe also said he stabbed Martin on the couch, but forensic evidence suggested the stabbing occurred on the victim’s bed.

“Don’t you want to wrap up those inconsistencies when you’re trying to wrap up a murder investigation?” Casteleiro asked.

Casteleiro took sharp aim at the scenario that has Lapointe taking his dog for a 20-minute walk and killing Mrs. Martin before returning home looking as if nothing had happened. “You think someone could walk .. to Bernice Martin’s house, murder her, stab her, blood all of the bedroom, rape her … set her house on fire ….and it appears there would be no sign whatsover?” Casteleiro demanded of Morrissey.

“It’s possible,” Morrissey said. And later, he added, “my goal has always been through my entire career in law enforcement was to get to the truth.”

Casteleiro, in a wide-ranging cross-examination of Morrissey that Judge John J. Nazzaro did little to reign in, repeatedly asserted that local police were out to squeeze a confession out of Lapointe — no matter what the facts might suggest. You can read the confessions Richard Lapointe signed with comments here. To be continued…