New England in brief

Ex-official indicted on larceny charges

October 1, 2008
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The former probate register for Middlesex County has been indicted for allegedly stealing money from copy and cash machines at the Registry of Deeds in Cambridge. A grand jury indicted John Buonomo yesterday on 12 counts of breaking and entering into a depository with intent to commit larceny, eight counts of theft of public property by a county officer, and eight counts of larceny under $250. No date has been set for his arraignment. Buonomo had pleaded not guilty in Cambridge District Court and was released on personal recognizance. Buonomo was arrested in August and resigned on Sept. 7.

Sheriff's officer held on heroin charges
A 15-year veteran of the Essex County Sheriff's Department is facing a heroin possession charge. John Bachta of Methuen was arrested during the weekend in Tewksbury and was charged with a single count of possession of heroin. He was released on bail. A spokesman for the sheriff's department said Bachta, 37, was placed on unpaid administrative leave. Spokesman Paul Fleming says Bachta began his career with the sheriff's department as a guard. He was promoted to sergeant in 1999, and began working in the department's security and investigations unit in 2001. (AP)

2 get life sentences in Somerville slaying
Two men have been sentenced to life in prison without parole for the shooting death of a Worcester man during a robbery attempt in Somerville two years ago. Middlesex Superior Court Judge Diane Kottmyer sentenced Valentino Facey, 23, of Cambridge and Walter Norris, 22, of Boston yesterday, one day after they were convicted of first-degree murder and other charges for the death of Bernard Johnson, 22, in August 2006. Prosecutors say Facey, Norris, Johnson, and Johnson's fiancee attended a small gathering at a Somerville apartment to celebrate Johnson's engagement. After leaving, Facey and Johnson got into an altercation outside the apartment, and Facey tried to steal Johnson's gold chain. Norris emerged from the building with a gun and shot Johnson several times. (AP)

Police chief details shooting of suspect
The Cape and Islands district attorney's office is investigating a shooting in which a Harwich police officer wounded a man who allegedly made a threatening statement and charged at the officer, officials said. Marcus Miranda Jr., 29, was shot at least once Monday night in a yard as police were trying to arrest him following a domestic violence report, Harwich Police Chief William Mason said. When officers arrived at Miranda's home on Division Street, he fled on foot and was eventually spotted by an officer. "The suspect made statements to the effect that would lead the officer to believe his life was in danger," Mason said. "The suspect then charged at the officer, at which time the officer fired his service weapon to stop the assault." Mason would not say whether Miranda was armed, nor would he name the officer. Miranda was listed in satisfactory condition at Cape Cod Hospital, the district attorney's office said. The office said Miranda would face domestic violence charges.

Coakley rejects marijuana group's case
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has rejected a complaint by backers of a pro-marijuana ballot question against the state's 11 district attorneys. The Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy filed the complaint against the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association, saying the group made false statements about the question. The committee pointed to a statement on the district attorneys group's website stating that if the question is approved "any person may carry and use marijuana at any time." If the question is passed, possession of marijuana would still be illegal, and anyone carrying or using marijuana would face a $100 fine. Coakley's office said nothing in the proposed law explicitly forbids public use of the drug. (AP)

Nation's governors to meet in Boston
The National Governors Association said yesterday that Boston will host the nation's governors for its annual meeting in 2010, providing Governor Deval Patrick with a major platform to showcase Massachusetts during what would be a reelection year for the state's leader. The meeting, scheduled to take place July 9-12, is one of the largest bipartisan gatherings of governors.

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