A woman sentenced to life in prison for murdering a man she didn't know in the parking lot of a Dartmouth bar in April 1990 is being released on parole for the second time, after an April 27 decision from the state parole board.

Debra Skarpos pleaded guilty in 1992 to second degree murder after fatally shooting 60-year-old Reginald Desnoyers as a favor to his wife's lover.

She had previously been released on parole in 2009, before her parole was revoked in 2013 because she was found to have used heroin.

The murder took place at night outside the now-defunct Rawhide Lounge on Old Fall River Road, across and down the road from the Dartmouth Regional Park and Trails entrance.

Skarpos hid in Desnoyers' car with a gun provided by his wife's lover, Brenda Brousseau, who was staying with Skarpos and her girlfriend at the time.

According to court documents, when Desnoyers and his wife left the bar and he opened the car door, Skarpos popped up from the back seat, said "Hi," put the barrel of the gun to his forehead, and pulled the trigger.

Get our free mobile app

Brousseau's ex-husband worked with Desnoyers, and told police that his ex-wife had planned to move in with the victim's wife Janice after his murder, according to parole documents.

Skarpos took a plea deal for second degree murder charges.

 

 

Brousseau was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole, while Desnoyers' wife Janice was acquitted of conspiring to murder her husband.

Janice's stepson Aaron Allen, the getaway driver, was granted immunity by prosecutors in return for his testimony.

When a parole board member asked Skarpos why she agreed to kill Desnoyers, the board noted, she told them the victim's wife wanted to be with another woman.

The board wrote: "When asked if she got anything out of it, she stated, 'no.'"

For the majority of her prior release from prison, Skarpos lived in Fall River.

She had been taking morphine for shoulder injuries sustained in prison when it was discovered that some of her morphine pills were missing, and she tested positive for heroin.

Since returning to custody, she incurred six disciplinary reports, including for keeping prescribed medication in her underwear.

Skarpos was denied parole in 2018 before the board granted her release last month.

In its decision, the parole board cited the fact that she has been sober since 2013 and has now accepted responsibility for her previous actions.

Upon her release, Skarpos will stay at McGrath House in Boston. She will be subject to a curfew, electronic monitoring, and drug and alcohol testing, among other requirements.

Online Reviews of New Bedford's Ash Street Jail and Dartmouth's Bristol County House of Correction

You've read reviews of SouthCoast restaurants, hotels and retail shops, but have you ever read feeback about our correctional facilities?

See How Much This Fall River Intersection Has Changed in a Decade

Well this is surely a blast from the past. While exploring Google Maps' street view feature recently, I came across an old still from 2012 mixed in with the more recent ones. It showed an almost decade-old look at Fall River's New Harbour Mall, which is now dead and has been replaced by the stores at the SouthCoast Marketplace. The more I looked around the intersection on William Canning Boulevard, the more I began to see remnants of the past, some that may now be long-forgotten for some. This Fall River intersection has changed so much in the past near-decade, but if you're needing a little look in the rearview to see how far it's come, check out some of the following stills.