Thursday, June 30, 2016

This 81-year-old murderer professed Christ, but apparently didn't possess Christ

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matthew 10:16

The victim of this murder reminds me of a clergyman of my acquaintance who's a lovely man, but seems to assume that everyone else is as decent as he is, and is frequently taken in by con men, especially those who claim to be Christians. Submitted for your approval, the following item, which proves that you're never too old to be conned--or to commit murder. As reported by Marcia Pobzeznik of The Newport Daily News, June 29, 2016:

Edward Acquisto was given a “significant” loan in 2011, Police Chief Thomas Blakey said, and an argument about paying it back led Acquisto to shoot and kill John Cloud of Kingston, Mass., in the town’s Pocasset Hill Cemetery on a Monday night earlier this month.

Blakey would not say how much Acquisto “legally” borrowed from the congregational church he and Cloud belonged to, but did say Acquisto apparently reneged on the agreement to pay it back.

“It does not seem that there was anything substantial paid back,” Blakey said.

Blakey also could not say what Acquisto did with the money. “It is unknown what became of the money,” Blakey said.

Acquisto, 80, formerly of Woonsocket, is a convicted felon who moved to an apartment on State Avenue Street in North Tiverton in 2003 after being released from prison for serving time for manslaughter and rape. He arranged to meet Cloud in the cemetery on Main Road on June 13 about 7 p.m., police said.

Acquisto was known to have spent time in the cemetery praying with his Bible in hand, and the two had met there in the past to pray together, Blakey said. They belonged to the same church in Kingston, Mass.

The night of June 13, Acquisto shot Cloud twice in the torso with a .22-caliber handgun, Blakey said. People who were in the cemetery at the time called police to report that a black Kia drove out of the cemetery, and a man lay dying near gravestones.

Cloud, 81, was a graduate of Tufts University who was a mechanical engineer and working for a medical equipment company in Dedham, Mass., at the time of his death, according to his obituary. He was described by family and friends who posted tributes to him as a dedicated family man who was also dedicated to his church.

The first line of his obituary reads: “John A. Cloud died unexpectedly on June 13 steadfast in his belief of the good in people.”

Fire Chief Robert Lloyd said rescue crews transported Cloud to St. Anne’s Hospital in Fall River, Mass., where he was pronounced dead.

A graveside service was held for Cloud on June 18 at the church in Kingston.

“We and the family have no comment,” Joan Cole, office manager for Mayflower Congregational Church, said in a response to a request for an interview with the reverend of the church and the family of Cloud.

Tiverton Senior Center Director Janice Gomes said Acquisto, who was in failing health the past several years, often quoted Bible verses during his visits to the center. He started going to the center shortly after moving into town in 2003, but in recent years just went there for help with paperwork. He told Gomes of his background early on, she said.

Acquisto was killed in a driveway of a home on Ford Farm Road, across from the town cemetery, after a brief police chase about an hour after he shot Cloud in the cemetery. Acquisto drove into Fall River after shooting Cloud and was chased back into Tiverton by Fall River and Tiverton police who spotted his car about a half-mile from the Tiverton border. Acquisto was shot and killed by police after emerging from his car with a gun in hand.

That part of the investigation is still ongoing, Blakey said.

Asked about the gun Acquisto used and how he obtained it seeing he was a convicted felon who should not have been in possession of a gun, Blakey only said that it was “not reported stolen.”

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