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October 27, 2012

Charges dropped for two in home invasion

One faced murder charge, the other accessory to crime

(Continued)

Cloutman and Walsh, who police said lived in an upstairs apartment with their child and Cloutman’s mother, were charged with helping to plan the home invasion in exchange for some of the marijuana the home invaders planned to steal from Melchionda’s apartment, police said. The young couple called and texted one of the gunmen from their shared cell phone numerous times in the days and hours leading up to the deadly intrusion, police said.

Kimball-Monahan said that during yesterday’s court hearing, Essex Assistant District Attorney Melissa Woodard indicated her office was not prepared to go forward with a probable cause hearing against Jonas Rogers.

“There are no open charges against Jonas Rogers in connection with the River Street shootings,” Kimball-Monahan said after the hearing.

The Grand Jury investigation into the shootings, however, remains open, she said.

“He spent a month in jail on charges that have now been dismissed,” Kelly said of Jonas Rogers. “My client was elated at the outcome of the case and left the courtroom with members of his family.”

Kimball-Monahan said this week’s indictments of Sanchez, Cloutman and Walsh move their cases from district court to superior court, which has jurisdiction over murder charges. A grand jury is a 23-member group that meets in secret, weighs evidence and testimony, and then decides if it rises to a level sufficient to indict or bring a criminal charge.

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