NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

November 21, 2012

Robbery suspect denies it was him

DANVERS — In the days before his arrest on domestic abuse charges, Roger Hedstrom consumed 30 beers, two bottles of Champagne and two bottles of wine, his wife told police.

Police say Hedstrom, a well-known 57-year-old furniture-maker who once appeared on “This Old House” and lives in Rowley, also robbed a Danvers Market Basket at gunpoint.

But yesterday, Hedstrom — who appears to not know he’s been charged in a warrant with the Nov. 10 holdup — denied that he was the man who made off with more than $5,000 from the Danvers store.

“His alibi is he wasn’t there,” said defense lawyer Patrick O’Malley, who was representing Hedstrom in Salem Superior Court in his effort yesterday to reduce his $5,000 bail in the domestic abuse case.

Hedstrom is facing a string of charges in Newburyport District Court, after his wife went to police to report that her husband had been on a bender for the past several days and that she didn’t know where he’d been for part of the weekend. During an argument, she told police, he threw knives and then threw her onto a bed, pinned her down, and warned her not to “rat him out” or she would be “6 feet under,” a prosecutor said.

Police went to Hedstrom’s 238 Main St., Rowley, home looking for him and eventually found him, hiding under a pile of clothing and a set of box springs.

An “argumentative” Hedstrom struggled and kicked one Rowley officer as he was being put in a cruiser, prosecutor Meg Morrissey told a Salem Superior Court judge yesterday. O’Malley suggested that the kick was not intentional.

After Hedstrom’s arrest, Rowley officers and Middleton Jail officials noted a resemblance between him and the surveillance photo of the man who had robbed the Market Basket the night before. Employees also looked at photos of Hedstrom and subsequently identified him as the robber.

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