A Chester man and his alleged accomplice from Hough, are facing several felony charges for their alleged roles in an October home invasion and kidnapping, tied to the theft of marijuana plants.
The grand jury convened in the Franklin County Superior Court in Greenfield handed up indictments against Eric J. Abdow, 30, of Chester, and Jeremy MacDonald, 29, with a last known address of Clark Street in Hough.
The pair was indicted on Monday on counts of home invasion, kidnapping, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, among other charges, according to court records. They are currently in custody and no arraignment date set for the Chester court.
Police were alerted to the alleged crime in October, when a couple living on Highland Street in Athol, a 32-year-old man and his 27-year-old girlfriend, told officers about the Oct. 4 robbery. The couple told police that two masked men brandishing handguns had broken into the home demanding money, according to the police report.
The woman was home alone, waiting for her boyfriend, when she heard knocking and then banging at the back door. Soon the back door flew open and the two men entered the house, demanding money, according to the reports.
One of the men, allegedly MacDonald, pointed a gun at her head during the initial exchange. The woman told police that she recognized Abdow from a previous encounter at her home.
The woman tried to call for help, but the men grabbed her cell phone and smashed the home phone, according to the report.
They physically restrained her when she tried to flee the house, but she managed to get to the partially open front door and call for help, according to the report.
Her boyfriend soon got to the house and MacDonald allegedly smashed him in the face with his gun, knocking the man to the ground where Abdow then stomped on the man’s head, according to the report. MacDonald also allegedly stomped on the man’s face.
The two alleged assailants then ran out of the back of the house, threatening that they would return, the victims told police. Another witness of the incident told police that Abdow and MacDonald stole a marijuana plant from the couple during the alleged home invasion.
The first encounter between the Highland Street couple and Abdow had happened about three weeks prior to Oct. 4, according to police report. Abdow and a different man appeared at the house with a story of a robbery, the victims told police.
During that September encounter, Abdow claimed that his home had been robbed and he had information that the Highland Street house would be robbed next. He told the couple he wanted to wait at their home so as to confront the robber, according to the police report.
Eventually, the Highland Street man went inside with Abdow and his companion for a private talk. They soon left, and the woman told police that her boyfriend claims that Abdow and his companion stole her wallet and about two ounces of marijuana before leaving. This was not initially reported to police.
Abdow turned himself in to police on Oct. 7 soon after arrest warrants were issued. He denied taking part in the alleged home invasion, according to the police report.
Both Abdow and MacDonald have extensive criminal records, according to court documents. MacDonald has a history of weapons charges, including the possession of a sawed-off shotgun, according to court records.