A convicted killer made his case before the parole board Tuesday 15 years after he was sentenced to life in prison.
Matthew Lavoie, 36, was convicted of second degree murder in the 2001 death of Townsend man Westley VaanAnen. The second degree murder conviction and jurors finding him not guilty of possessing the murder weapon means he is eligible for parole.
Prosecutors said Lavoie conspired with another man and woman to murder 29-year-old VaanAnen as he slept in his bed. The motive was money and cocaine. Lavoie initially admitted to police that he shot VaanAnen three times but Lavoie told the parole board he just helped the others clean up the crime scene and dump the body in Fitchburg, where it was set on fire.
"God knows I wish I could go back and somehow change what happened but I can’t," Lavoie told the parole board. He blamed his drug addiction for the bad decisions he made.
The board noted that Lavoie has been disciplined 59 times while in prison for things like tossing urine at guards and even planning an escape. Lavoie’s mother, Sharon, asked the board to put her son in a less secure setting and give him the tools to improve his life. She also spoke to VaanAnen’s family and tearfully told them that she never stops thinking about them.
VaanAnen’s son, now a 21-year-old Marine, also addressed the parole board and told them he does not believe Lavoie is being sincere.
"I hear a lot of excuses or blaming drugs, blaming other things. I just don’t buy that," said the younger Westley VaanAnen. His mother, VaanAnen’s girlfriend Nicole Finan, also addressed the parole board.
The parole board’s decision is expected to take weeks before they decide if Lavoie will be released.
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