Man charged with murder ‘didn’t expect to be caught’

Frank Mulligan

When Timothy J. Cassidy, charged with murder in the death of his friend, answered the knock on his motel room door in Pooler, Ga., on Dec. 7, he thought it was room service.

Instead, it was three men with drawn guns.

“He kind of just stood there and his whole life passed in front of him,” said Taunton Detective Peter Corr. The other two who made the arrest were Massachusetts State Trooper Michael Cherven and a U.S. Marshal assigned to that district in Georgia.

Cassidy, 38, is currently being held without bail after his arraignment Wednesday in Taunton District Court on a charge of first-degree murder. He is accused of shooting his best friend, James V. Madonna, 44 - a married father of two - to death and leaving his body in the Myles Standish Industrial Park.

Corr said Cassidy appeared “excited and happy” when he opened the door, but the sight of three armed law enforcement agents with leveled guns seemed to “take the wind right out of him.”

“He didn’t expect to be caught,” Corr said.

Cassidy surrendered quietly and expressed some surprise that he had been caught so quickly, Corr added.

The motel’s owner helped set the stage for the arrest. Though Cassidy had not called for room service, the owner knocked and announced that room service had arrived.

Corr and Cherven took Cassidy by commercial flight from Georgia to Rhode Island’s T.F. Green Airport after Cassidy waived extradition in Georgia on Monday. Corr said they sat in a back row in the plane and covered up Cassidy’s handcuffs.

“People didn’t realize” he was cuffed, Corr said.

Madonna’s body was discovered on Nov. 21 in his parked Jeep in the vacant parking lot of an empty building. According to reports, Cassidy accompanied Madonna’s elder son, who is 20, on a search for the body and allowed him to approach the Jeep first and find his father’s bullet-ridden body.

Madonna reportedly loaned Cassidy $25,000 and the money was due on Nov. 21.

Cassidy fled the state before he was to take a polygraph test, according to reports, and was at large until he was caught in the room at the Microtel Hotel on Continental Boulevard in Pooler.

Cassidy had checked in under a phony name, Corr said. Corr said authorities had good intelligence on Cassidy’s whereabouts. Corr had actually been in Georgia six days following Cassidy’s trail, leading up to the arrest. “We had some good information he was down there.”

Cassidy’s case has been continued to Jan. 9.

Taunton Call