PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island Parole Board will revisit Monday the case of a man imprisoned for a 1999 ‘‘thrill killing,’’ whom it approved for parole more than 20 years before his original release date.
Alfred Brissette Jr. pleaded no contest to murder for killing Jeanette Descoteaux. Brissette, 38, was sentenced to serve 35 years in prison and was originally supposed to be released in 2034. The board agreed last month to release him early but is now taking up the case after Brissette’s original release plan fell through.
A Rhode Island Supreme Court ruling described the murder as a ‘‘brutal, barbaric and utterly senseless ‘thrill kill'’’ in which Brissette, of Woonsocket, and Marc A. Girard lured Descoteaux to the woods with promises of cocaine, then beat her to death as part of a plan to randomly kill and bury an unsuspecting woman.
Girard was sentenced to life in prison plus 10 years.
Monday’s hearing is closed to the public, and it is not clear exactly what they will discuss, according to Board Administrator Matt Degnan.
The parole board approved Brissette’s request for parole in June, taking into account several factors, including his participation in prison programs and that he had never been disciplined while behind bars, Degnan said.
Neither prosecutors nor the woman’s family notified the board of any objections ahead of time. Descoteaux’s mother has died and the attorney general’s office has said it typically only writes such letters in instances in which the case file does not reflect all relevant facts, such as when the charge with which the person was ultimately convicted does not reflect the seriousness of the crime.
Brissette was scheduled to be released this month, but that was put off after his release plan fell through following media reports about his case. A release plan typically includes a job and place to live. Degnan has not said what part of his release plan fell through.
When asked whether Brissette might have to wait another few years for a new parole hearing and whether he had proposed a new release, Degnan told The Associated Press the board would discuss those issues and how to proceed on Monday.
Advocates for victims’ rights and others planned a rally outside a prison building in Cranston on Saturday afternoon to call on the parole board to stop Brissette’s release.
Carolyn Medeiros, executive director of the advocacy group Alliance for Safe Communities, which organized the rally, has said the case fell through the cracks and calls Brissette a danger to the community.