HAVERHILL — A witness failed to appear in court yesterday, forcing the postponement of the trial of a former Haverhill police officer fired for allegedly stalking his former wife.
Essex Assistant District Attorney Michelle Belmonte told Newburyport District Court Judge Peter Doyle that she was requesting a continuance to June 9 due to the fact that a witness for the prosecution who was summonsed by mail failed to appear.
Yesterday was the scheduled start of a trial for Victor “Manny” Pellot, who was charged a year ago with stalking and unlawfully seeking CORI information. In addition to stalking his ex-wife and her boyfriend, Pellot misused police resources and databases to research the boyfriend’s background, police said.
Pellot’s defense lawyer, Gerald LaFlamme of Haverhill, objected to the continuance, indicating Pellot’s family was in the courtroom, expecting the trial to begin.
Following a hearing last month, LaFlamme told The Eagle-Tribune that Pellot may be considering a plea agreement, but that there was ample time to decide.
Pellot’s case is being heard in Newburyport instead of Haverhill District Court because charges against a police officer are routinely heard before a judge in a court other than the one officers appear in as part of their job.
Pellot, 50, was fired last July, following a Civil Service hearing. He had been a member of the Haverhill department since 1983.
The charges stem from an incident in which Pellot allegedly chased his ex-wife, Doreena, and her boyfriend, Thomas Ratte of Merrimack, N.H., through Haverhill in his personal vehicle, confronting them at one point, and then continuing the chase on Interstate 495. Pellot has pleaded not guilty to two counts of stalking.
It was one of four documented instances in which Pellot aggressively confronted his ex-wife and Ratte, including one in which Pellot threatened to kill Doreena Pellot, according to a state police report.