Accomplice in murder of Epsom police officer back on parole

  • Kevin Paul is now living in a sober house in Manchester. Concord Police Department

Monitor staff
Published: 10/25/2019 1:01:16 PM

An accomplice in the 1997 murder of an Epsom police officer was once again granted parole and is now residing at a sober living house in Manchester.

Kevin Paul, 40, a former Concord resident, was initially granted parole in early 2015 after serving 17 years in prison for his role in the killing of Epsom police officer Jeremy Charron. But not long after his release, Paul violated the conditions of his parole in August 2015, and the New Hampshire Parole Board sent him back behind prison walls for 30 days.

The brief sanction was the first in a series of setbacks for Paul. Released that September from the New Hampshire State Prison for Men in Concord, Paul, a convicted felon, soon joined a burglary ring, trading guns for methamphetamine and cash as part of an illegal operation that police say extended into Massachusetts. As a result, Paul was back in prison within two months and facing new felony charges in Hillsborough and Merrimack counties. He ultimately reached a plea deal that resolved many of the charges by late 2016.

Just shy of four years later, Paul found himself in a familiar place last month as he prepared to make his case for release before the New Hampshire Parole Board for a second time since Charron’s murder. He told them this time would be different, that he had changed and that his most recent prison sanction gave him a new perspective on life.

“I’m standing before you with a purpose for the first time in my life,” Paul told the board last month. “I’m not just asking you to grant me parole so I can just get out and do the right thing, although I am planning on doing that. I have a purpose: it’s real and genuine and I have a motive for it.”

Paul said he is in recovery, recently became a recovery coach to assist other inmates and plans to continue that work on parole.

“If I’m granted parole I won’t just adhere to the conditions set forth by the parole board. I will make the parole board proud of me,” he said.

After brief deliberations, the three members of the board who presided over the Sept. 19 hearing granted Paul’s request, with the condition that he be placed on intensive supervision in the community. He was released from the men’s prison in Concord on the morning of Oct. 14.

Familiar with Paul’s criminal history, board chairwoman Donna Sytek recalled the serious offenses that had brought Paul before the board in the past. This time, she said he appeared different.

“I’ve seen you on your previous bids for parole and gave you a chance and you disappointed me, but today I believe you’re a new person,” she said. “You have the best of intentions. Follow through on them.”

Although Paul spoke of a willingness to stay clean and improve his life, law enforcement in attendance at the hearing responded with skepticism and told the board that anything but intensive supervision for Paul is insufficient.

“It’s noble that he’s saying these things but actions speak way louder than words,” Concord police Detective Brian Womersley said. “I’m worried about the community’s safety and our safety as police officers.”

Womersley said the Concord Police Department received numerous tips from people within weeks of Paul’s release on parole in mid-2015 that he was selling drugs, not just in his hometown of Concord but in more southern communities in the state. He added that Paul didn’t just relapse and return to using drugs himself; rather, he quickly engaged in sales and played a key role in getting stolen guns to people who legally are prohibited from having them.

Concord police Lt. Sean Ford echoed Womersley’s concerns about the decisions Paul made the first time around. He said Charron was a great person and a friend whose life ended because of Paul’s actions.

“I don’t want to see more victims created,” Ford said.

Police said previously that Paul stood by as Gordon Perry shot and killed Charron. Paul pleaded guilty to armed robbery and reckless conduct and testified against Perry, who took a plea bargain that sent him to prison for life without parole.

In a follow-up interview this week, Ford referred to Paul as one of the state’s “most violent offenders” and said officers are closely watching Paul since his release two weeks ago.

During his parole hearing last month, Paul said he understands his criminal history is a serious concern, and it’s something that he wants to put behind him, as well.

“I don’t want to be that guy. That’s not who I am,” he said. “I can’t run from the things I’ve done. The only thing I can do moving forward is to prove to my family that’s here to support me and the board that I am committed.”

As a condition of his release, Paul must be present for every scheduled check-in with his parole officer or he will be placed on electronic monitoring. He must also continue to engage in substance abuse treatment and mental health counseling. He is prohibited from going to Deering, Epsom, Hillsborough, Pittsfield and New Boston.

(Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 369-3319 or at adandrea@cmonitor.com.)


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