Cambridge man connected to brutal kidnap scheme

Erin Smith

A Cambridge man was arrested in connection with what authorities are calling a bizarre kidnapping scheme. Prosecutors said there could be more arrests in the case in which the kidnappers tried to burn their hostage alive in an Allston apartment building.

Domonic Campbell, 20, of 33 Jackson Place, Cambridge, pleaded not guilty in Brighton Municipal Court June 5 to arson of a dwelling, assault with intent to murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and kidnapping with the intent to extort money while armed, according to Jake Wark, spokesperson for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.

Patrick Sheehan, Campbell’s lawyer, denied his client was involved in the kidnapping plot and said Campbell has never been convicted of a crime in the past.

Firefighters rescued the kidnap victim — a 24-year-old Allston man — from a burning apartment on Glenville Street in Allston where he was beaten and tied to a chair with electrical cords. The entire kidnapping, police-monitored ransom exchange and rescue took place within the span of one day, according to Wark.

Three women were previously arrested and charged in connection with the kidnapping June 3 in Brighton Municipal Court. The kidnappers allegedly have mutual acquaintances with the victim, Wark said.

Cheerley Chevalier, 30, of 81 Ridgewood Ave.,Taunton; Farrah Girault, 29, of 43 Moreland St., Roxbury; and Jill Jacques, 23, of 118 Glenville Ave., Apt. 14, Allston, are all charged with arson of a dwelling, assault with intent to murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and kidnapping with the intent to extort money while armed.

The case is under active investigation, according to prosecutors, who speculated there could be more arrests in the case. The victim told police at least one other man was involved, according to the DA’s office.

The victim told detectives that a woman named “Jillian” lured him up to her apartment where two men attacked him during the morning of June 1. Prosecutors allege the victim was kidnapped at gunpoint and Jacques held him against his will in her Allston apartment while the others demanded a $5,000 ransom from the victim’s family.

The victim’s brother — a Medford resident — walked into the Allston-Brighton district police station June 1 and reported kidnappers abducted his brother and threatened to shoot their hostage in the head unless they were paid the ransom, according to the DA’s office.

Boston Police — tracking the victim’s cell phone, which had been used to make the ransom demand — followed the victim’s family after they were instructed to put the $4,280 they raised in a white envelope, go to the Dudley T stop and call the victim’s cell phone for further instructions.

Police arrested Girault and Chevalier in Girault’s 2003 gray Mercedes Benz after the victim’s brother was instructed to walk up Vine Street while remaining on his cell phone and pass the money to the women in the car, according to the DA’s office.

Investigators later arrested Campbell, who they said was speaking to Chevalier by cell phone and instructed her to take the ransom money.

As police were arresting Girault and Chevalier, firefighters responded to 118 Glenville Ave., Allston for a building fire. Firefighters discovered the victim in a third floor apartment tied to a chair with electrical cords suffering from serious facial injuries and bleeding from his eyes. A burning mattress and a charred and a smoldering nine-pack of toilet paper on top of a gas range stove surrounded the victim, according to reports. Firefighters could not extinguish the mattress and it had to be ejected through a window, according to the DA’s office.

The victim was rushed to Beth Israel Hospital for medical treatment.

Jacques was arrested the next morning when she returned to her apartment. Police noted she didn’t appear surprised or upset at the chaos that had taken place inside her apartment, according to reports from the DA’s office.

Chevalier and Girault were held on $25,000 cash bail, while Campbell and Jacques were held on $50,000 cash bail. None had posted bail as June 6, according to Wark.

All four are scheduled to appear in Brighton District Court for a pre-trial hearing June 18.

Cambridge Chronicle