Skip to comments.Elvis impersonator held in machete murder
Posted on 09/21/2003 9:52:16 AM PDT by martin_fierro
REVERE -- A Revere Elvis impersonator is being held without bail after allegedly hacking a man to death with a machete early Friday morning.
Robert Daigle, 67 of 4 Frye St. in Revere, was arraigned in Chelsea District court Friday for allegedly murdering James Surette, 39, of Revere, in his apartment after hours spent drinking beer.
Daigle called police at approximately 3:54 a.m. Friday to report an altercation saying, "Someone may be dead," according to Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Tim Bradl.
Bradl said Daigle admitted to stabbing Surette in the chest with a knife and then attacking him with a large machete with a serrated edge. The defendant also said he stopped to check the Surette's pulse and then continued with the attack, bludgeoning the victim in the head and back with the machete and then plunging the weapon into the victim's back.
Revere firefighters were the first to arrive on the scene, where Daigle asked if they could read him his Miranda rights and then said, "I was defending myself."
Bradl described a gruesome scene with a broken coffee table, spattered blood and a mangled Surette lying facedown on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood with a machete protruding from his back.
Surette was found wearing pants, but no shirt, and had no identification with him. He was described as being in his late 30s or early 40s.
Bradl said there were "signs of a violent struggle" in the living room of Daigle's Frye Street apartment.
But downstairs neighbor Rob Reed, who owns Daigle's apartment, said he heard only a minor disturbance and finds it hard to believe his tenant of two years would kill anyone.
"He was quiet. I never heard any type of anger... or disturbance," said Reed. "If he knew you were sick he would wish you well. It doesn't make sense."
Reed also said that Daigle rarely had male visitors and only seldom saw either of his two daughters. He described Daigle as a loner.
He also said that Daigle occasionally dressed up as Elvis and put on convincing impressions.
"For the amount of violence that was done there I just can't imagine it was coming from this man," said Reed.
But Daigle reportedly told firefighters at the scene that he had taken a shower and changed his clothes after the murder, and said, "I probably shouldn't have done that."
According to police, after being taken into custody, Daigle initially asked for an attorney, but later gave a full statement to Revere police. He told them that he met Surette near his apartment after purchasing an undetermined quantity of beer Thursday night.
According to Daigle's statement:
Surette asked to accompany him to his apartment to drink the beer. Daigle said Surette became belligerent at about midnight. Daigle said he and Surette had several skirmishes, after which they would make up, hug and continue drinking.
Early Friday morning Daigle told police he began to fear for his life. He asked Surette to leave the apartment and the victim refused, saying his father wouldn't let him into the house at such a late hour. Surette fell asleep on the couch with his hands crossed on his chest and a knife in his hands, according to Daigle.
While Surette slept Daigle approached him with the intent to kill him, removed the knife from his hands and stabbed him in the chest
Daigle told police that Surette lurched to his feet, made a gurgling noise and struggled with Daigle. During the struggle, Daigle says he grabbed the machete and slashed the victim several times.
When Surette fell to the floor facedown, Daigle checked for a pulse and, finding one, attacked the victim again.
Bradl told Chelsea District Court Judge Robert Ronquillo that Daigle then stabbed and slashed Surette three or more times in the head and eight to 10 times in the back before plunging the machete into the Surette's back.
Bradl said that he had seen the machete but declined to describe it.
Bradl also said that Daigle has a five-page arrest record dating back to 1954, including a conviction for a threat involving a machete in South Boston 10 years ago.
Bradl said the defendant has a record of "numerous previous incidents of violence," and alcohol abuse. Daigle was also on unspecified medications for leukemia.
But defense attorney Stephen Neyman painted a different picture of Daigle, who wore a hospital johnny at the arraignment.
He said that the 67-year-old Daigle has been disabled since 1991 and has "limited strength." Although Daigle was once a bodybuilder, he attacked the victim only in self-defense, said Neyman
Neyman also questioned the validity of the defendant's statement, made without an attorney present but after he requested counsel.
"The first thing he did was ask for a lawyer," said Neyman.
Dailge will appear again in Chelsea Distrtict [sic] Court on Oct. 17.
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ELVIS HAS CLEFT THE BUILDING!
This stuff is going to hurt his self-defense plea.
Anyway, I'm glad I'm out of that town. It was a nasty place to grow up and it's much worse now.
Now enough of my kindness :) , I must go watch Packers kick some ass in 100+ heat......('Da Pack don't like heat!)
Hint: it wasn't Elvis.
Oh yeah, real tough guys.
We may hug, but it's for a hello or goodbye, never inbetween rounds of beer drinkin' and fightin' and knife throwin'! Buncha homos. Right up your alley Marteeeeen :-)~~