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Lawyer: Suicide weapon was secure; Teen killed himself with rifle in 2007.

Byline: Gary V. Murray

WORCESTER - Testimony got under way yesterday in the trial of a Charlton man accused of improperly storing a firearm that authorities believe a 17-year-old Shepherd Hill Regional High School student used to take his own life.

Mark C. Vigeant, 49, of 1 Clark Road, Charlton, is charged with the improper storage of a .22-caliber Ruger semiautomatic rifle that police said was found resting against the body of Jeremy D. Carroll when he was found dead March 28, 2007, from what a medical examiner determined was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Mr. Carroll, who was a friend of Mr. Vigeant's son, Kevin Vigeant, had last been seen 15 days earlier in the driveway of the Vigeant home. His body was found in woods about a quarter of a mile from the house.

Mr. Vigeant called the Charlton police station the day before the discovery of the body to report his .22-caliber Ruger semiautomatic rifle missing.

Police said Mr. Vigeant told them the gun was missing from behind a filing cabinet in his kitchen, according to Assistant District Attorney Joseph A. Quinlan.

In his opening statement yesterday in Worcester Superior Court, Mr. Vigeant's lawyer, Vincent F. Ricciardi, told the jury he expected the evidence to show that his client's 22-caliber rifle was always kept in a locked gun cabinet when not under Mr. Vigeant's control. He said a reasonable inference could be drawn that Mr. Carroll knew where the key to the cabinet was and used it to remove the weapon.

State Police Sgt. John Tasker testified yesterday afternoon that he found Mr. Carroll's body and the firearm with the assistance of a cadaver-seeking dog and remained at the scene until state police detectives arrived.

Testimony is scheduled to resume Monday morning.
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Jan 22, 2011
Words:296
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