|By Chris Maza|
EAST LONGMEADOW A busy end of the week is coming up for former Selectman Enrico "Jack" Villamaino and his wife Courtney Llewellyn.
Villamaino and Llewellyn are due back in court for a pre-trial conference on Jan. 10, but are also scheduled to appear in Hampden County Superior Courtroom One on Jan. 11 to answer to a host of new charges.
Villamaino, who was originally indicted, arrested and arraigned on 12 charges including illegal absentee voting, interfering with election officials, larceny and attempting to unlawfully vote stemming from an investigation into a scheme he and Llewellyn allegedly hatched and attempted to carry out in order to tip the scales in his favor during his bid for the Republican nomination for the Second Hampden District's state representative, will be arraigned on an additional 26 charges.
The charges included 16 additional counts of attempt to unlawfully vote absentee, four counts of forgery, four counts of perjury, one count of conspiracy to commit illegal voting and one count of conspiracy to commit an absentee voting violation.
Llewellyn faces 46 new counts 16 counts of attempt to illegally vote absentee, 14 counts of forgery, 14 counts of perjury, one count of conspiracy to commit illegal voting and one count of conspiracy to commit an absentee voting violation.
A grand jury indicted the couple on the new charges on Dec. 19, 2012.
Llewellyn was released on $50,000 surety, while Villamaino was released on $10,000 bail with the condition that he wears an electronic monitoring device.
District Attorney Mark Mastroianni told Reminder Publications that the new charges are the result of the continued investigation into Villamaino and Llewellyn's activities.
"The investigation was not completed [when Villamaino and Llewellyn were originally arraigned in October 2011]," he said. "These are new charges that we have brought forward because of the results of our investigation, which included forensic handwriting analysis."
Mastroianni went on to explain that the new charges came later because of the detail-oriented and time-consuming process that is required when performing handwriting analysis.
According to the indictments, the grand jury found that there was sufficient evidence asserting that Villamaino and Llewellyn, "with intent to injure or defraud, did make, alter, forge or counterfeit a certain instrument purporting to be a public record, specifically an absentee ballot."
Mastroianni added, "Because an absentee ballot is signed under the pains and penalties of perjury, when they put false signatures on those ballots, it represented perjury."
He declined to comment on what the new evidence means for his office's case.
"I can't talk about the strength of the prosecution's case," he said. "This is another aspect, another side of a very long investigation into a complicated and elaborate scheme."
While he could not say for certain, Mastroianni said that it was possible that because the two would be appearing on Jan. 10, the court could decide to arraign them during those proceedings as opposed to making them appear on consecutive days.
The names of those whose names were used to take out absentee ballots were redacted from the indictments, thanks to a motion of impoundment filed by Mastroianni's office.
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