EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 31, 2012

Man free after plea deal in burglary case

By Doug Ireland direland@eagletribune.com
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — BRENTWOOD — A Manchester man charged with leading police on a two-state chase following burglaries in Salem and Atkinson is free after receiving suspended prison sentences.

Joshua Muszynski was sentenced Monday in Rockingham Superior Court to two and a half to four years as part of a plea bargain. He was given credit for 98 days already served and released.

Muszynski, 25, and three other men were charged in a burglary spree in February that began at a Salem business, continued at an Atkinson gas station and convenience store, and ended with a police pursuit in Massachusetts that involved six police departments.

Seven laptop computers were stolen from Middlesex Corp. on Northwestern Drive in Salem, according to Salem police.

Police said the men also tried to break into other businesses there before leaving and burglarizing a Sunoco gas station and convenience store in Atkinson — eight miles away. More than $4,000 worth of cigarettes and cigars, and an undetermined amount of cash were taken from the store.

A Salem police officer responding to the Atkinson burglary passed the suspects’ vehicle and pursued the Nissan Pathfinder into Lawrence, where they abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot. Muszynski was captured immediately, while Banshon Brown, 38, of Belmont and William Boucher, 26, of Londonderry were caught in North Andover.

The fourth man, Mark Lavigne, 28, of Salem, escaped and was not captured until March.

Muszynski had been held on $10,000 cash bail until appearing in 10th Circuit Court in Salem on Feb. 13. He then convinced Judge John Korbey to lower his bail to $5,000 cash. He also asked if he could be held under house arrest, but that request was rejected.

Muszynski told the judge he had to be home with his wife and disabled mother, who required constant care.

“My family has had an extremely difficult time coming up with (bail),” he said. “I need to take care of my mother at home . ... They have no financial support without me.”

Muszynski pleaded guilty to two charges of accomplice to burglary, receiving one and half to three years suspended for one charge, and a year, with all but 98 days suspended, on the second charge, according to the county attorney’s office.

Rockingham County Attorney James Reams said his office requested that Muszynski serve at least one and a half to three years in prison. Judge Kenneth McHugh gave Muszynski credit for the 98 days he already served in jail shortly after his arrest.

If convicted at trial on the two felony charges,

Muszynski faced three and half to seven years in state prison on each charge. He had also been indicted on charges of reckless driving and disobeying an officer. He was not prosecuted on those charges.