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Concord man admits stealing $30k in attack

BRENTWOOD - A 36-year-old man pleaded guilty on Thursday to beating a homeowner during a violent home invasion in Deerfield then fleeing with a gun collection and more than $30,000 in cash in June 2011.

Jacob Palo, of Concord, entered his guilty plea on a variety of charges, including three counts of first-degree assault, as part of a deal that is expected to draw at least a 20- to 40-year prison sentence, according to prosecutors.

Judge N. William Delker will decide the sentence at a hearing Jan. 28 in Rockingham County Superior Court. The negotiated agreement prevents Delker from imposing a longer prison term than the negotiated cap hammered out by prosecutors and defense lawyers.

Palo is the second person convicted for a planned break-in that targeted the home of Dr. Arthur Cutter. In June, Sherri Avnet, 33, of Manchester was sentenced to two to seven years in state prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to commit theft by unauthorized taking. She admitted to acting as a getaway driver and carried a backpack and bleach to the home.

Avnet was required to become a state witness and testify against Palo and another co-defendant, Christopher Martin, 40, of Danbury. Martin was indicted on charges of burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary and theft by unauthorized taking. He allegedly chose Cutter as a target.

Palo entered the home and severely beat Cutter before fleeing with Cutter's Cadillac. He led police on a chase through five towns and stole another vehicle before crashing into an Epping police cruiser, prosecutors said. The chase ended on Route 102 in Chester.

Court documents suggest that Cutter became a target of the trio nearly a month before they allegedly went to his home to rob him. Palo was indicted on 23 charges, but some of the theft-related charges were dropped or combined as part of the negotiated settlement.

Palo's name recently came up in another case while in jail. A Rockingham County jail inmate, John Bouraphael, impersonated Palo's public defender, so he could speak with Palo while being held at the Merrimack County House of Corrections. Palo was not charged in that case.


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