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August 7, 2012

Couple charged with helping plan deadly River Street home invasion for pot

HAVERHILL - A young couple who lived above the scene of a deadly home invasion on River Street allegedly helped plan the crime in exchange for marijuana.

Angela Walsh, 21, and Joshua Cloutman, 20, live at 631 River St., a floor above where their friend Billy Melchionda, 19, lived and was shot to death July 23 during what police say was a drug-related home invasion. Also killed was Anddy Guzman, 20, of Lawrence, whom police say was one of the three home invaders that night.

In the days leading up to the home invasion, Walsh and Cloutman exchanged numerous texts with alleged shooter Juan Carlos Sanchez, 20, of Haverhill, police said. The texts allegedly provided information about when Melchionda's roommate Steve Roman would be home to help Sanchez plan the timing of the robbery, investigators said.

In exchange for the information, Cloutman was to receive some of the marijuana Sanchez planned to steal from the downstairs apartment.

Both Walsh and Cloutman were charged with accessory before the fact, to wit home invasion.

In court today, Walsh's lawyer argued Walsh texted misinformation to Sanchez because she was "afraid" and knew he had guns.

Both were ordered held on $20,000 bail. The two live at 631 River St. on the second floor with their young child and Cloutman's mother.

So far, five people have been arrested in connection with this case, including Walsh and Cloutman. Sanchez and Jonas Rogers, 25, of 4 Prospect St. are being held on two counts of murder.

Also charged in the case is Matthew Rogers, 26, 1068 Essex St., Lawrence, who police said gave Sanchez a ride at one point after the shooting to help him avoid police who were tracking him.

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