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Police: Marine combat vet broke into Massachusetts home for sale, ate pizza

A gavel cracks down. (Airman 1st Class Aspen Reid/U.S. Air Force)

A Revere man accused of eating pizza inside an empty Swetts Hill home for sale was ordered held on $2,500 cash bail following his arraignment Tuesday in Newburyport District Court.

Joshua Everett, 33, of Campbell Avenue was charged Monday with misdemeanor breaking and entering, disorderly conduct, trespassing and vandalizing property shortly after his arrest at the house.

Minutes before Judge Peter Doyle ordered the cash bail, Everett’s attorney told the judge his client was dying of thyroid cancer and only had six months to live. He also described Everett as a wounded U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Everett’s attorney pushed for bail no greater than $500.

Essex County prosecutor Shailagh Kennedy requested bail be set at $10,000 on the charges. Since Everett faces similar charges in Haverhill District Court, she asked Doyle to hold him without bail for violating conditions of his release.

Doyle denied her motion and set bail at $2,500. Everett is due back in court, via videoconference, on Aug. 4 for a pretrial hearing.

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Amesbury police Officers Denis Champagne and Nathan Basque responded to Swetts Hill about 4 p.m. on Monday after a woman said two suspicious men were loitering outside an empty home for sale.

The woman, who went to the house to pick up a cell phone and had a key, said one of the men approached her and said he was the new owner. She also saw pizza and soda on the kitchen counter.

When police arrived, they saw pizza and soda through a window but no signs of forced entry. Using the key provided by the woman, officers went inside and Basque found Everett on the second floor.

“I immediately drew out my firearm and ordered Joshua to show me his hands. Joshua put his hands up in the air while stating, ‘What are you doing in my house?’” Basque wrote in his report.

“Mr. Everett stated numerous times that he had just purchased the home for $650,000. He further claimed that he had paperwork and keys and could prove that he owned the home,” Champagne wrote in his report.

Police checked out his paperwork and quickly determined it dated from the 1990s. Still, Everett was adamant that he bought the house June 31 and was given the keys.

When asked who his real estate agent was, Everett said his name was “Jeff” but was unable to say the last name. Officers tracked down the real estate agent, who confirmed the house remained for sale.

Even as police were reading him his rights, Everett continued arguing that the house belonged to him and that he used the proceeds from a house he sold in Revere to pay for the Amesbury home.

“The more he spoke, the more his story started to fall apart,” Champagne wrote.

When searching Everett at the Amesbury police station, officers found keys to the Swetts Hill home. The second man was never found.

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© 2020 The Daily News of Newburyport