Ed Hopfmann/Daily News staff
By Michelle Laczkoski/Daily News staff
Posted Aug 25, 2008 @ 09:40 PM
Prosecutors fought to keep a Franklin man behind bars yesterday, saying he had carefully planned an attack on his estranged wife's boyfriend and was a danger to the public, but they were rebuffed and the suspect will be released on $1,000 bail.
A judge yesterday set conditions for Mark D'Valentine, 49, to be released on bail after lawyers argued about whether he is a danger. D'Valentine must find a new home since his current address is with his wife. He must move to a home with a land line phone service so he can be electronically monitored. When he moves he will be released.
D'Valentine was arrested Thursday morning after police said he formulated an extensive "to-do list," put on a mask, broke into a Bellingham house and sprayed a chemical substance on a man sleeping inside the house.
The victim told police he awoke after 4 a.m. to D'Valentine attacking him with a rubber mallet. The substance sprayed in the victim's eyes "burned and blurred his vision," he told police.
Neighbors became involved in the fight once the struggle between D'Valentine and the victim spilled into the kitchen and onto a back deck.
Police said D'Valentine attacked two male neighbors, who came outside in response to the commotion. One was left with a bloody nose and the other told police he was attacked with a screwdriver.
Investigators believe they have unraveled D'Valentine's plan, after gathering lists and materials left behind at the crime scene.
One list included tasks such as "fix screen, porch light off, shower on, fan on," according to court records.
Police concluded D'Valentine was going to assault the victim with a shower control knob and then put him in the shower.
"It would appear that the victim had fallen in the shower and struck his head," court documents read.
The liquid substance D'Valentine allegedly used to spray the victim was sent to the state crime lab for testing. Police believe it was bleach or a similar cleaning substance.
Further investigation has revealed "D'Valentine knows (the victim) is a musician and his sight is very important to his livelihood," according to an affidavit filed in Milford District Court.
D'Valentine was held without bail following Thursday's arraignment. A judge decided yesterday to release D'Valentine from jail with electronic monitoring.
Prosecutors yesterday hoped to keep D'Valentine behind bars, citing his premeditated and aggressive attack. The victim, who was treated for his injuries at Milford Regional Medical Center, has since been released, he said.
"Extensive planning took place," Assistant District Attorney Christopher Hodgens said during D'Valentine's dangerousness hearing yesterday. "The commonwealth cannot give assurance he will not pose a danger (to the public)," he said.
Judge Andrew D'Angelo took the recommendation of D'Valentine's attorney, David Schulman, in releasing him.
"The length of planning was quite extensive, so there's certainly a risk," D'Angelo said. "But the commonwealth does not meet the burden for setting no condition of bail."
In arguing for bail, Schulman stressed D'Valentine had no criminal record. He portrayed his client as a dedicated father of two and conscientious worker employed as a mechanical engineer at Raytheon.
D'Valentine's wife described him as a "quiet man who keeps to himself," according to a police report.
She told police the couple is involved in divorce proceedings, and she filed a restraining order following the attack, court records show. D'Valentine was slated to receive his divorce papers on Thursday, the day of the attack, according to the prosecutor.
"Adultery, infidelity was thrust in his face," Schulman said. "No one knows how someone could react given that situation."
Hodgens said D'Valentine using his intelligence "for the wrong purpose" is a great risk.
D'Angelo set bail for D'Valentine at $1,000 and ordered him to wear an electronic monitor upon his release. He is also ordered to stay away from the victims and only leave his home for work and court appearances.
D'Valentine, of 9 Cooper Drive, was arrested around 5 a.m. Thursday, police said. He said little during police questioning.
"I can't tell you why I did what I did, I can't tell you the truth," he told police, according to court documents.
He is charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, armed assault in a dwelling, home invasion, breaking and entering in the nighttime for a felony and disturbing the peace, police said.
Police filed additional charges of mayhem, assault and battery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon on a person over 60 stemming from his attack on one of his neighbors, according to court records.
D'Valentine could face "significant prison time" if convicted, Hodgens said.
He is scheduled back in court Sept. 19.