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Assistant DA Forsyth to take over Girouard murder case

Date: 1/31/2011

Jan. 31, 2011

By Chris Maza

Reminder Assistant Editor

HAMPDEN — New Hampden County District Attorney Mark Mastroianni will not personally prosecute Jesus Gilberto Garcia for the murder of Hampden resident Valerie Girouard.

Reminder Publications reported in August that then-acting District Attorney William M. Bennett was acting as lead counsel on the case, but his successor has passed those duties on to Assistant District Attorney James Forsyth, according to the Hampden County District Attorney's office.

Forsyth is no stranger to high-profile cases. Forsyth recently prosecuted Chicopee's Glann Labier for the drowning death of his nephew. He is also prosecuting five Brimfield and Holland call firefighters accused of three arsons in the summer of 2010.

Garcia, a resident of 314 Fountain St. in Springfield, was indicted by a grand jury on Aug.13 and is currently being held without right to bail, according to court documents.

The documents also show that Garcia pled not guilty to 11 different charges, including the murder of Girouard, assault with intent to murder Kurt Haarmann, who also lived in the home where Girouard was attacked, assault with intent to rape Girouard's 15-year-old daughter, four counts of armed burglary, two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, one count of assault and battery and one count of attempting to commit a crime.

He is due back in court for a pre-trial conference on Feb. 10.

On July 30, 2011, Hampden police responded to a 911 call at 3 a.m., which stated a man had been stabbed or shot at 90 Main St. En route to the home, officers found Girouard's daughter running down the middle of the road toward them.

According to a report filed by Hampden Police Sgt. William G. Joy, Jr., her daughter told police Garcia was in the house and was "killing everybody." She said he was still in the house wearing a mask and wielding a knife.

When the officers arrived at the scene, they found Haarmann, lying in the street with stab wounds.

Officers then saw Girouard lying on the floor of the kitchen through a back window of the house and, upon entering the premises, found her dead from stab wounds.

After the attack, Garcia rode his bicycle to his residence on Fountain Street, where police found him later that morning.

Garcia is the estranged boyfriend of Girouard's daughter. He had also broken into the home and sexually assaulted her on July 21. He was confronted by Girouard and fled.

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