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Your Tewksbury Today

Man Serving Life in Prison Denied Parole

Sep 22, 2019 05:11AM ● By Lisa Redmond


Atty. Paul King

 FRAMINGHAM  --   In September of 1996, David Josselyn, 37,  was convicted of going on a 90-minute armed crime spree he robbed a drug store in Westford, a gas station in Chelmsford and the Home Depot in Tewksbury.

He was sentenced to two life sentences with the possibility of parole for armed robbery with a 20-year concurrent sentence for armed assault to rob and possession of a firearm.

Twenty-three  years after his one-man crime wave, Josselyn, now 60,  appeared before the state Parole Board in January seeking early release by telling the board he would like the chance to  “leave a more positive mark on the world than (he has),’’ according to Parole Board’s Sept. 3 decision.

But Josselyn must wait another five years for that chance after the board unanimously denied him parole noting, among the reasons, that despite his two decades behind bars he has participated in limited prison rehabilitative programs, which he said seem like a “farce’’ to him, the decision states.

He does, however, stay up-to-date with the field of electronics, the only thing he considers “meaningful,’’ according to the decision.

When questioned by board members about his past criminal offenses, he attributed his crimes to his “impulsive behavior.’’

In September 1989, Josselyn was accused of attempting to escape from MCI-Norfolk. His punishment was 15 days in isolation, two years in segregation and forfeiting 500 days of “good time’’ credits in Massachusetts and losing all his good time credits for a sentence in New Hampshire, according to court documents.

But his life of crime would soon end when during the early morning hours of Sept. 22, 1996, Josselyn attempted to rob an Osco Drug store on Carlisle Road in Westford. He entered the store, placed a candy bar on the counter, paid for it, and when the cashier opened the register, Josselyn pulled out a .22-caliber revolver and demanded money.

As Josselyn reached into the register, the clerk panicked and shut the drawer. Josselyn fled the store empty-handed.

Shortly after that attempted robbery, Josselyn entered a Sunoco gas station/food mart on Chelmsford Street in Chelmsford. Upon entering, Josselyn pulled out a .22-caliber gun and fired a shot between the two clerks, demanding they “empty the tray (or) the next one is real.’’

As the money tray was placed on the counter, Josselyn reached in and grabbed $100 in cash before fleeing.

After the Chelmsford robbery, Josselyn walked into the Home Depot in Tewksbury and placed a plexiglass cutter on the counter. When the cashier opened the register, Josselyn pulled out the .22-caliber gun and told the clerk, “Don’t say anything until I leave.’’ Josselyn grabbed $900 from the register.

The clerk notified a co-worker of the robbery. The co-worker followed Josselyn into the parking lot and told police the robber drove off in a white Chrysler LeBaron. Josselyn was arrested the next day and convicted of his crimes in October of 1998.

A self-described “unmanageable youth’’ and high school dropout, Josselyn told the board he gravitated toward crime, victimizing up to 30 people, possibly due to the “excitement’’ of it, he told the board. But his bad behavior didn’t end at the prison gates.

Josselyn has 58 disciplinary reports, 18 of which are drug related, according to the decision.  Josselyn explained he was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia and was using anything he could find to dull the pain.

He is a jailhouse handy man, who is able to repair items for other inmates. While behind bars he became certified in circuit design and advance digital electronics. He has been recognized by the “Feed the Children’’ organization for his donations, he said.

In its denial, the board wrote, “The board is of the opinion that Mr. Josselyn has not demonstration a level of rehabilitative progress that would make his release compatible with the welfare of society…During (his) commitment he has yet to invest in his rehabilitation. In addition, he should engage in treatment/programing to address his causative factors.’’

He will be eligible for parole in another five years.


Al Fresca Ristorante


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