PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A Woonsocket man convicted in the “thrill” killing of a woman at random has been granted parole and is set to be released from prison in December, decades early.
Alfred Brissette, 38, pleaded no contest to murder charges in the 1999 killing of Jeanette Descoteaux, also of Woonsocket. Court records show Brissette and Marc Girard lured the woman to the woods of Burrillville with a promise to supply her with cocaine.
According to court documents, Brissette and Girard “had conspired to kill and bury a random female victim” 18 months prior to the murder.
“Brissette had even bought a shovel for the express purpose of digging a grave to bury whoever they killed, according to the police,” records from a 2002 R.I. Supreme Court case reveal.
According to a graphic description of the crime, Girard left the vehicle to relieve himself when the three arrived at George Washington Park in Burrillville. Brissette then demanded Descoteaux have sex with him in exchange for cocaine.
“After that, Brissette reached into the back of the Blazer for a plastic bag containing a lug wrench and smashed it into Jeanette’s head,” according to court records. “Jeanette was stunned and asked Brissette what he was doing, to which he responded by again striking her head with the lug wrench.”
The victim screamed begging Brissette to stop, at which point Girard returned, according to police records quoted in the court documents. Descoteaux promised she wouldn’t tell anyone what had happened if they drove her to the hospital.
“In the meantime, Brissette, who had been rummaging about in the Blazer, reappeared and handed the shovel to Girard and directed him to dig a hole,” court documents state. “Suddenly realizing the implications of what was happening, the wounded and bleeding Jeanette sprang to her feet and began to run for her life.”
Both men chased Descoteaux – who was still naked – through the woods and eventually caught up, according to court documents. They began beating her with a lug wrench and a shovel.
Court records state Girard told police in his confession that he dealt the fatal blow: “I was just trying to put her out of her misery. I didn’t want her laying out there for days still alive, bleeding.”
Girard was sentenced to life plus 10 years and later lost a bid for a new trial. The Supreme Court described the murder as a “brutal, barbaric and utterly senseless thrill kill.'”
Brissette was sentenced to 60 years with 35 to serve and was scheduled to be released in 2034, but Brissette earned more than 1,600 days of “good time” credit putting his release date to 2028, according to the R.I. Department of Corrections.
The Rhode Island Parole Board granted Brissette early release earlier this year.
Parole Board Administrator Matthew Degnan did not have an exact date for Brissette’s release and said he isn’t allowed to make details about it public, but he said Brissette will be supervised as a parolee until 2028.
In a statement, the parole board said Brissette had never been disciplined in his 14 years at the Adult Correctional Institutions in Cranston.
“The board was impressed with inmate’s program participation and his documented plan for change,” according to the statement. “Further, the Parole Board did not receive [any] objection letter from the [attorney general's] office or the victim’s family.”
Target 12 has learned Descoteaux’s mother died in 2008.
Amy Kempe, spokesperson for Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, said: “It is up to the Department of Corrections and the parole board to use their best judgment in terms of rehabilitation and parole. The parole board has the facts of the case. They have all the information to make their decisions.”
Carolyn Medeiros, executive director of the Alliance for Safe Communities, said Brissette should not have “been cut any deals.”
“This is a travesty to the law. This was someone’s daughter,” Medeiros said. “An individual like this, we’re truly concerned what’s going to happen down the line with him back in our communities.”‘
Medeiros said she was tipped off to the parole board’s vote and wanted to bring Brissette’s release to the public’s attention.
“They took a woman out to the woods, they repeatedly beat her with a lug wrench, one of them tried to sever her spine with a shovel, she ran through the woods naked to get away from them,” Medeiros said. “He’s done a good job of manipulating the prison system, and he’ll be out early now.”