MY BRUSH WITH BOUCHER: KINGSTON’S CONVICTED MURDERER
In the summer of 2009, I was looking for a job. On summer break from college, I was back in Kingston and without an income.
Desperate times called for desperate measures, so I responded to a position as a delivery driver at a newly opened pizza shop in North Plymouth.
Michael’s, now a late-night tavern, had only been open for a few months by the time I was hired in late May, and I got the job after pestering them enough.
Business was slow during the first summer Michael’s was open, and alcohol wasn’t served. Most of the customers during the day would be neighborhood kids, coming in for a quick snack or a soda.
Prices at Michael’s were, and probably still are, unbeatable. Kids could come in with five bucks in their pocket and get a slice of pizza, a side of fries and a soda.
One of those kids turned out to be Richard M. Boucher Jr., a now 21-year old man from Kingston who, yesterday, was convicted of murder “by extreme cruelty or atrocity” and attempted murder after emptying his .40-caliber pistol into two men, James Tigges and Jackson Duncan, after a verbal confrontation at a North Plymouth party.
Boucher, of Kingston, showed up to the Cortelli Court party late on a spring night in 2010 with a 40-oz. of malt liquor and a handgun.
Testimony from the trial revealed that once drunk, Boucher began bragging about his future murder weapon to friends and was “mean mugging” the two men he later shot.
James Tigges and Jackson Duncan were leaving the party when then 18-year old Boucher swiped a beer bottle from Duncan’s back pocket.
A cousin of Duncan’s took the beer bottle back from Boucher and returned it to Duncan.
With the stolen beer returned, the two boys walked away.
Once a girl started making fun of Boucher, who was later painted as a cocky kid with a gun by prosecutors, he followed the men outside, asked them if they were “tough guys” and fired nine rounds.
Five of Boucher’s exploding hollow-tipped bullets hit Duncan and Tigges, leaving the then 17-year old Jackson Duncan of West Plymouth permanently paralyzed and a 23-year old father of three toddlers from Abington nicknamed “Jimmy,” dead.
Boucher was less than eight feet from the two men when he fired the first shot at Duncan.
Duncan collapsed to the ground after being hit, causing Tigges to instinctively shield his best friend from Boucher’s bullets. Boucher kept firing from point-blank into Tigges until his gun was empty.
Witnesses testified that Boucher kept “clicking the trigger” of his weapon after it was empty before running away and disappearing into the North Plymouth nighttime.
Duncan later testified at the trial that he saw Boucher’s pistol well-before it shot him, saying it made him “uneasy” because he’d “never seen a gun before.”
After the shooting, Boucher eluded authorities for two weeks.
Boucher was finally arrested after being spotted at a McDonald’s in Oxford, MA. Authorities had received information that Boucher was in the Worcester area when Massachusetts State Police saw him sitting in the passenger seat of a 99’ Toyota, waiting in line at the drive-thru. Boucher never got his happy meal.
Authorities spotted and arrested the fugitive, even though Boucher had changed his identity on the run. Boucher had shaved his recognizable bushy hair, leading one local newspaper of record to write that Boucher looked “like a scared little boy” at his arraignment.
Prosecutors told the jury that Boucher wanted to grab the spotlight when he arrived at 7 Cortelli Court on the night of the double shooting.
Relatives said Boucher already “thought he was a gangbanger.”
Prosecutors told the jury that during the early morning hours of May 27th, Boucher was drunk and wanted to be in control.
Back in 2009, I saw a Richard M. Boucher Jr. who was far from “in control.”
It was probably only my third or fourth day on the job when 16-year old Boucher walked into Michael’s with a group of kids who seemed far younger than him. He had a wild afro and was wearing a white T-shirt with baggy jeans; it was a look I’d see replicated in his mug shot.
Boucher’s personality was boisterous to say the least.
I was sitting at the bar next to the cash register when the group walked in. The kids placed their orders with the waitress, opened their soda’s and waited for their food. For the most part the process went smoothly. The new waitress only messed up once, but it was only because Boucher changed his order five times.
I was sill patiently waiting for the phone to ring for a delivery as I texted away when I overheard Boucher, laughing as a friend said “do it.”
Naturally, I looked up from my phone and down the bar to see Boucher reaching his hand into the tip jar and pocketing a wad of one-dollar bills. I turned back to my phone, pretending not to have seen the act.
A minute later, I quietly got up and walked back into the kitchen.
“I think I just saw a kid reach into the tip jar and take money,” I said to the kitchen cook.
The kitchen cook was a little rough around the edges himself and I came to find out that he had been recently released from prison after serving 15 years in Walpole for a drug crime. “You saw what?!” the cook yelled.
He nodded his head like he had made a decision, patted my shoulders and said, “Alright Brad…then you back me up.”
The kitchen doors swung open. The cook stormed out and grabbed Boucher by the neck, pinning him against the wall. I stood next to the cook.
“Did you steal money from our fuckin’ tip jar?!” The cook screamed as he held Boucher.
Boucher, who had his hand in his pockets, dropped some crumpled up dollar bills to the floor as he gasped for air.
“You didn’t steal it but you’re droppin’ money all over the floor,” the cook yelled.
The cook then released his grip on Boucher, told him to leave and “never come back.”
Boucher skipped out the door, nearly tripping on his way out.
His friends stayed inside and ate his food while they called him “stupid” and “dumb.”
The next time I saw Boucher was two years later, when his mug shot ran on Boston news.
Less than a year after I got Boucher kicked out of Michael’s, Boucher had graduated from stealing chump change out of tip jars to armed robbery.
Only 17 days before Boucher committed the double shooting on Cortelli Court, the emboldened 18-year old robbed a Cumberland Farms in his hometown of Kingston, brandishing the same weapon that would later claim the lives of two local young men. Boucher was only discovered as the culprit of the robbery after he was in custody for the double shooting.
Richard M. Boucher Jr. was probably the worst person in the world to give a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun loaded with hollow-tipped bullets. He was a ticking time bomb, waiting to explode.
While Boucher is going exactly where he belongs, there might still be someone more dangerous walking our streets.
How did a cocky, loudmouthed, 18-year old wannabe gangster from Kingston get a .40-caliber pistol with hollow-tipped bullets to boot?
Who the hell gave him this weapon?
Plymouth Police detectives would not comment on any possible investigation into Boucher’s illegal possession of a firearm charge but there are no published reports citing an arrest of somebody who gave Richard M. Boucher Jr., a kid who still couldn’t even legally buy a beer, a Smith & Wesson pistol with hollow-tipped bullets.
In fact, all media reports are silent as to how Boucher obtained the gun. It seems that question was never asked and the answer was never found.
If we truly want to stop these horrific acts of violence from turning our streets into war zones, we must hunt down those who distribute these weapons illegally just as aggressively as we hunt down murders on the run.
Boucher will likely spend the rest of his life in prison, and whoever gave him this weapon deserves to keep him company behind bars. Boucher will be formally sentenced in Plymouth County Superior Court next week, on January 30th.
Boucher will likely never have children and, like the vicious reign of terror he brought to the shores of Kingston Bay, his life will become nothing but a memory, nothing but a name in a book.
The victims of Boucher’s hateful and ego-driven violence will, however, live on. Tigges’ three young children, Jaymz, Darren and River, will grow up needing only to look in the mirror to see the legacy of their father, the man who died a hero and gave his best friend, Jackson Duncan, a second chance to live.
KingstonJournal.com urges anyone with information on how Richard M. Boucher Jr. obtained the weapon he used to murder James Tigges and paralyze Jackson Duncan to call the Plymouth Police @ (508) 830-4218.
Tips can be left anonymously.
Sources: Patriot Ledger, WickedLocal:Kingston, WickedLocal:Plymouth, The Boston Globe, Massachusetts State Police, WATD 95.9 FM, Worcester Telegram-Gazette