Court upholds Robidoux murder conviction

Boston Herald/December 4, 2007

The state Supreme Judicial Court has affirmed the first-degree murder conviction of Jacques Robidoux, the infamous Attleboro cultist who allowed his infant son Samuel to starve to death because, he claimed, it's what God wanted.

"It is apparent that Robidoux had the ability to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law," judges wrote in a decision announced this morning. "He had disregarded leadings in the past and altered course when the leadings appeared to guide him astray.

"When faced with Samuel's dire condition, he could have put the leading on hold. As Robidoux stated at trial, 'No one can make me do anything.' Regarding his responsibility for Samuel's death, he testified that 'the buck stops here.' On this evidence, we cannot say that Robidoux lacked criminal responsibility."

Robidoux, 34, wanted his 2002 life sentence overturned, arguing he was a victim of brainwashing by his late father Roland Robidoux's Bible study sect. He and his wife Karen, who was found not guilty of second-degree murder, withheld solid food from Samuel for more than a month.

Samuel, who never saw his first birthday, was buried in a homemade casket months after he died in the forest of a state park in northern Maine.

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