By Scott Shurtleff
AYER -- A 50-year-old Townsend man who fled to Florida while facing charges he kidnapped and assaulted a woman -- after having previously served prison time for similar offenses -- was ordered held without bail Friday after being returned to Massachusetts.
Kevin Hamel, who was added to the State Police list of most wanted fugitives in August, was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Florida on Jan. 18, after members of the State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section tracked him there.
He was returned to the Bay State on Friday and arraigned in Ayer District Court on charges connected to allegations he imprisoned and slapped a woman and banged her head off the floor in his Townsend home on March 30.
Ayer District Court Judge Ernest Sarason ordered Hamel held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing that he scheduled for Wednesday, according to court records.
Hamel is charged with kidnapping, assault and battery on a family or household member, two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and four counts of vandalizing property in connection with the March 30 incident.
Prosecutors say that on that day, a woman who was fleeing from an assault inside Hamel's home called 911 and reported Hamel held her against her will as he slapped her, ripped necklaces off of her and slammed her head against a floor. State police said the woman was left with "numerous" injuries.
Hamel previously served a sentence of five years in prison and 2 1/2 years in jail after a 2011 conviction on allegations he imprisoned, beat and controlled his former wife over the course of five years. He was also sentenced to 15 years probation in that case.
At Hamel's sentencing for those crimes in 2011, Assistant District Attorney Suzanne Kontz told a judge Hamel "is not a good candidate for rehabilitation." Kontz had requested a 9- to 10-year prison sentence for Hamel at that hearing.
When State Police added Hamel to their most-wanted list, they said he also has previous convictions for firearms offenses, stalking, and restraining order violations. State Police said Hamel has ties to Fitchburg, Ayer, Acton and New Hampshire.
Staff writer Robert Mills contributed to this report.