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Home » News » Crime

May 26. 2014 11:18AM

Ex-Mass. cop seeks suspension of prison sentence for perjury


Brendan Bisbee, 37, is asking a judge to suspend the remainder of his prison sentence after serving a year in prison for perjury. (JAMES A. KIMBLE/Union Leader Correspondent)

BRENTWOOD – A former Massachusetts police officer convicted of perjury in the Kristin Ruggiero case is asking a judge to suspend his prison sentence so he can be freed on parole.

Brendan Bisbee, 37, has served roughly a year in state prison after losing an appeal challenging his October 2011 perjury conviction. Bisbee was sentenced two to four years in prison for perjury.

A jury found him guilty of lying under oath during the trial of Ruggiero, his then-girlfriend, who faced charges that she had set up her ex-husband and had him jailed while they were going through a bitter divorce.

Ruggiero was convicted in May 2010 of using a disposable cell phone, and having it registered under her ex-husband's name, to convince police she received several threatening text messages.

She was found dead in her prison cell on Dec. 28, 2011, the same day the state Supreme Court upheld her conviction of falsifying physical evidence.

Because of his role in the Ruggiero case, prosecutors are objecting to an early release for Bisbee.

“As the sentencing court is well aware, the defendant lied both at the trial of Kristin Ruggiero, and to the grand jury investigating Ms. Ruggiero,” Assistant County Attorney Jerome Blanchard said in a court motion.

Bisbee was a 10 year veteran of the Barre, Mass., police department before getting romantically involved in 2007 with Ruggiero (a.k.a. Kristin McDonald), and later left his job while the two were dating.

Prosecutors say if Judge Kenneth McHugh is inclined to not keep Bisbee in prison, they want a hearing to argue why he should remain behind bars and serve the full term of his minimum sentence.

Bisbee's new lawyer, Adam Bernstein, said in a court motion that his client has been a model inmate and even got designated to live in halfway house as part of work release. Bisbee was not able to participate in work release because his parole plan is to Massachusetts and work for his wife, who has owned a hair salon for the last 20 years.

“Mr. Bisbee has demonstrated that he is a productive member of society,” Bernstein said.

Bisbee appealed the prison sentence handed down by McHugh to the state's Sentence Review Board, which refused to amend his punishment.

The state Supreme Court also rejected Bisbee's arguments that the indictments in his case failed to articulate his crimes, or that it was improper for Blanchard to call Bisbee a “mope” and “dirty cop” during closing arguments at the trial.

jkimble@newstote.com



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