Closing arguments set for today in Sirois trial — (Worcester Telegram & Gazette)

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Worcester Telegram & Gazette , MA

Gary V. Murray; Telegram & Gazette Staff 

24 October 1996

WORCESTER – Closing arguments were scheduled today in the trial of a Holden man who allegedly murdered his wife, then took his three children to the Spencer Fair.  Brian J. Sirois, 35, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder in the Sept. 4, 1995, shooting death of 31-year-old Shirley J. Sirois in the couple’s home at 151 Mixter Road, Holden.

Sirois first told police that he discovered his wife’s body upon returning home with his children from the fairgrounds and that he had no knowledge of the circumstances surrounding her killing. He later said his wife came at him with a handgun and was shot during a struggle for the weapon.

Sirois, a former Army Green Beret, said he then took his children to the fair and left messages for his wife on their home answering machine in an effort to conceal his involvement in the shooting.   There also was testimony during the Worcester Superior Court trial that Sirois began having an affair with insurance agent Gail L. Granum of Worcester in the months leading up to his wife’s slaying and that Granum sold life insurance policies to both Sirois and his wife.

After admitting his involvement in the shooting to police, Sirois said he believed that medications he had been taking because of injuries he suffered in a June 27, 1995, car accident “may have contributed to this incident.”  The medications included Prozac, often used as an anti-depressant, but prescribed for Sirois because of his complaints of severe headaches.

He also told investigators that his Green Beret training caused him to react without thinking.

Defense witnesses called to the stand yesterday, including Sirois’ father, Norman Sirois; his sister, Denise Morgan and his aunt, Joyce Sirois, testified that Sirois wore a neck brace, walked gingerly, appeared particularly sensitive to noise and often complained of headaches after the accident.

They testified that Sirois appeared to be in pain while at a family gathering at a campground in Hubbardston on the holiday weekend that his wife was killed.

Sirois did not testify during the trial.  Jury deliberations are scheduled to begin today after closing arguments by defense lawyer Louis P. Aloise and Assistant District Attorney Thomas E. Landry and instructions to the jury on the law by Judge Herbert F. Travers Jr.