Staff and Wire reports
A 33-year-old Lawrence man being held at the Essex County jail in connection with a home invasion in Methuen in December was charged yesterday with a similar home invasion and sexual assault in New Hampshire that achieved notoriety because of the violence of the attack and the prominence of the family.
New Hampshire police issued a warrant for Charles Normil and a second suspect, whom they did not identify. They said they would seek Normil’s extradition for the Nov. 24 break-in at the Bedford N.H., home in which Dr. Eduardo Quesada was stabbed in the head with a screwdriver several times and his wife, Sonia, was sexually assaulted and beaten so badly that she was blinded in her left eye. Their 2-year-old daughter was unharmed.
Normil and the second suspect are charged with two counts each of attempted murder and first degree assault, one count each of burglary, aggravated felonious sexual assault and falsifying evidence, police said.
Police said the motive of the attack was money.
The case received further notoriety because, in what police said was an ugly coincidence, the couple suffered a second beating at a home owned by Dr. Quesada’s mother, also in Bedford, in January that left Sonia Quesada, 29, dead. Dr. Quesada, 52, was found unconscious near his wife’s body. That case remains under investigation.
During their five-month investigation of first attack against the couple, police said they were led to Normil and the other suspect by evidence recently recovered by dive teams from ponds in the towns of Amherst and Milford, both in New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Union Leader reported yesterday. Police did not describe the evidence.
Dr. Quesada is an anesthesiologist and has been on medical leave since the Nov. 24 attack, the Union Leader reported.
Normil is being held at the Essex County Correction Complex on $250,000 bail on charges that he broke into a unit at an apartment building at 19 Grove St. in Methuen in December and beat a 22-year-old woman with a dangerous weapon.
The woman was flown to a Boston hospital with serious head injuries. Police said that attack was not random but that the woman was targeted.
Methuen police have posted a surveillance video of the suspect leaving the apartment complex on YouTube. That video is attached to this story online.
Normil was charged with home invasion, larceny and battery with a dangerous weapon and arraigned in Lawrence District Court on Feb. 15. The case is scheduled to be moved to Superior Court over the next few weeks, said Carrie Kimball-Monahan, a spokesman for District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett.
Normil’s criminal record dates back more than a decade.
He served five years in state prison at Walpole after pleading guilty to joining in the robbery of seven Merrimack College students in 2001. Police said the students were laid face down in a parking lot and fleeced of their wallets while Normil and three others, including one with a gun, stood over them. His address at the time was 22 Brookfield St. in Lawrence.
He was released from prison in May 2006 and enrolled in Northern Essex Community College, where he played for the school’s basketball team.
Reporter Keith Eddings contributed to this story.