Murder-suicide response under review
By KATHRYN MARCHOCKI
New Hampshire Union Leader
8 hours, 11 minutes ago
MANCHESTER – The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department and Manchester police are reviewing their agencies' responses to Thursday's shooting death of a Manchester mother by her estranged husband, who then killed himself during a six-hour stand-off with police SWAT teams.
Jonathan Charbonneau Sr., 32, fatally shot his wife, Melissa, 29, with a rifle when she returned to the couple's 223 Jewett St. home about 2 p.m. to collect some belongings.
Charbonneau also shot and wounded his father-in-law, John Cantin, 57, who had accompanied his daughter and tried to wrestle the gun from Charbonneau.
"I am actively reviewing this agency's involvement, actions and the circumstances related to the matter involving Jonathan Charbonneau," Hillsborough County Sheriff James A. Hardy said in a statement yesterday.
Hardy would not say when he expected the review to be completed and had no further comment.
Manchester Police Chief David J. Mara also said he is reviewing his agency's response, which he said is standard procedure for any major event.
"We review all aspects of the incident. We review how the SWAT team performed, how patrol performed and how detectives performed so we can learn from it," Mara said.
"We debrief and we always look to see what we could do better," he added.
The review will encompass how police handled events preceding, during and after the murder, Mara said.
At the time of the shooting, Charbonneau was out on bail following his Oct. 20 arrest for allegedly assaulting his wife.
Bail conditions included in his domestic violence protective order said Charbonneau "shall refrain from possessing a firearm."
The bail conditions were continued when Charbonneau was arraigned in Manchester District Court on simple domestic assault charges the next morning.
According to the protective order and bail conditions, no weapon was involved in the underlying domestic assault and no weapon was ordered to be relinquished.
"Strictly based on that document, we have no authority to go to somebody's home and take away their weapons," Mara said.
"That is an order for the defendant not to possess any firearms," he said.
Melissa Charbonneau also obtained a temporary restraining order against her husband in Hillsborough County Superior Court on Oct. 21, the same day she petitioned for a divorce.
The order directed Charbonneau to "temporarily relinquish to a peace officer" any firearms or deadly weapons, including the hunting gun she said her husband kept in his closet, court documents show.
A Hillsborough County deputy sheriff wrote on Oct. 21 that he went to Charbonneau's 223 Jewett St. home and personally served him with the temporary restraining order.
Why Charbonneau still had a rifle in the house when his wife returned to the home on Oct. 22 is not known.
Charbonneau killed his wife with two gunshot wounds: one to the chest and another to the head, the autopsy found.
Charbonneau then killed himself with a single gunshot wound to the head from a rifle. His body was found in the upstairs bedroom, Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffery A. Strelzin said.
Strelzin said the case will be investigated even though no one will be prosecuted.
"We still investigate these cases thoroughly just to know everything that occurred," he said.
Domestic violence cases are reviewed "to see if anything can be learned from them," he added.
When a domestic violence petition is delivered by the deputy sheriff, the Manchester police department needs to be given a search warrant to look for guns by a judge.
The Sheriff department needs to let the Manchester Police Department know that it has delivered a domestic violence petition that mentions guns.
- Ken Stremsky, Manchester, NH
Yeah Joe... the UL is involved in a conspiracy with the authorities in order to spark a controversy. Can't you find anything better to do with your time than to come up with such ridiculous theories?
- Brian, Concord
Hey Mike from Bedford....he is referring to the actual criminal act committed by Jonathan Charbonneau. He's deceases, so no charges will be filed. He is not referring to the police investigation.
- Jon, Manchester
Police have no legal duty to respond and prevent crime or protect the victim. There have been more than 10 various supreme and state court cases the individual has never won. Notably, the Supreme Court stated about the responsibility of police for the security of your family and loved ones is You, and only you, are responsible for your security and the security of your family and loved ones. That was the essence of a U.S. Supreme Court decision in the early 1980's when they ruled that the police do not have a duty to protect you as an individual, but to protect society as a whole.
- Lazarus, Manchester
so basically the law enforcement not doing there job as usual.we pay them to protect us but there to busy tring to catch the petty drug dealers out there.its time to pay attention to the real problem out there
- jake, manchester
This is such a tragic event. Do we really need to keep hearing about it?
- Stan, Merrimack
AG Strelzin is quoted,"no one will be prosecuted". Maybe so, but you can bet lawyers for the family will be slapping the city and the county with a multi fiqure civil lawsuit as soon as the law enforcement agencies conclude their "internal investigations"
- Mike, Bedford
Looks like it doesnt it Joe. They need to let the family just get over their losses instead of dragging everything through the mud..
- Melissa, Manchester
So basically there is nothing new to add in this story. The Union Leader is trying to create a controversy.
- Joe, Manchester
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