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February 27, 2014

Fired city officer mulls plea bargain

Pellot's trial on charges he stalked wife, her boyfriend is delayed

A former Haverhill police officer who was fired for allegedly stalking his former wife was expected to go on trial this week in Newburyport District Court, but instead was granted a postponement to March 31.

Victor “Manny” Pellot’s defense lawyer, Gerald LaFlamme of Haverhill, said Pellot may be considering a plea agreement, but that there is ample time to decide.

“We’re always exploring that (plea agreement) but whether or not we’ll reach an agreement ... there’s plenty of time until the next court date,” LaFlamme said.

Pellot was charged a year ago with stalking and unlawfully seeking CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) 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.

Judge Peter Doyle granted the postponement. Pellot’s stalking trial 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 from the Haverhill force last July, following a Civil Service hearing that concluded the previous month. He had been a member of the Haverhill department since 1983.

The trial that was originally scheduled to begin yesterday was changed last week to a status hearing, but the district attorney’s schedule wasn’t updated to reflect that, said Carrie Kimball-Monahan, a spokeswoman for Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett.

Pellot sat in the front row of the courtroom yesterday along with two other men, who appeared to be either relatives or friends.

Police Chief Alan DeNaro’s recommendation to fire Pellot was the result of an internal Haverhill police investigation triggered by Pellot’s Feb. 27, 2013, arrest by state police on criminal stalking and threatening charges. 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.

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