Search for Escaped Murderer Grows

BOSTON--The search for a former New Hampshire state trooper who escaped from the prison where he was serving two life sentences for murder was expanded yesterday inside and outside Massachusetts, a state Corrections Department spokesman said.

The search for Armand R. Therrien, who escaped Friday, had been centered in communities within 30 miles of Worcester but yesterday was expanded to other parts of the state and other states, including New Hampshire, said spokesman Gail Darnell.

Therrien, 50, escaped from a work detail at Worcester State Hospital. He was one of 11 inmates from the minimum security prison in Lancaster assigned to the work detail.

Relatives and associates of Therrien have been interviewed as part of the investigation, Darnell said.

State police and Corrections Department investigators have checked out several reported sightings of the escapee but turned up no definitive leads, she said.

State police Lt. Joseph Barber said Saturday that authorities considered it likely that Therrien had obtained a weapon.

Therrien was declared an escapee at 4:30 p.m. Friday when he did no report to a van that was to take the work detail back to the prison.

Therrien, a New Hampshire trooper from 1964 to 1973, was convicted of fatally shooting John Oi, his business partner in a restaurant, and West wood police officer William E. Sheehan in 1975.

Sheehan's partner, Robert P. O'Donnell, was wounded in the shooting. He testified at Therrien's trial that he and Sheehan had approached a car for a routine check when Therrien shot at them.

He was convicted of two counts of murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault with intent to murder.