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Father charged in daughter's death was convicted in 2015 of abusing the child's mother

New Hampshire Union Leader

December 03. 2016 6:37PM
Roger Joseph Dana, 43, 109 York St., faces an arraignment Monday in First Circuit Division Court in Lancaster on second-degree murder charges that he caused the death of his daughter Madison, 2 1/2, from "blunt impact injuries." (Facebook)

BERLIN — The father charged in the death of his 2½-year-old daughter, Madison Dana, has a history of domestic violence against the child’s mother, according to court documents.

Roger Joseph Dana, 43, 109 York St., faces arraignment Monday in First Circuit Division Court in Lancaster on second-degree murder charges that state he caused Madison’s death from “blunt impact injuries.”

“He killed the victim by assaulting her multiple times physically,” said Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Strelzin.

Dana was convicted in Berlin District Court on Sept. 30, 2015, on domestic violence against Ashley Bourque, 37, Madison’s mother.

According to the police log, Bourque told Berlin police that Dana slapped both sides of her face and had pushed her.

Bourque paid a loving tribute to her daughter in an April 4 post on her Facebook account.

“I’m soo sick of my life, I thought my family loves me !” she wrote.

“Well i guess I have a lil girl that will always will love me, she’s what’s keeps me going! Love you Madison rose Dana your mama’s girl forever!”

Dana was convicted of one count of domestic violence, one count of assault and one count of criminal mischief in connection with the abuse charge.

At that time, Dana, Bourque and Madison lived at 825 Second Ave. in Berlin.

For domestic violence, Dana was sentenced to six months in the Coos County House of Corrections with credit for 38 days served. The sentence was suspended for 90 days on the condition that he maintain good behavior for a year.

For the assault, he got a five-month, suspended jail term and had to pay fines totaling $360.

Dana was cited for criminal mischief for urinating on the floor at the police station according to court documents. He had to pay restitution of $87.20 to Berlin police within 90 days of his release from prison.

This past September, Dana had to pay a fine of $50 for violating a city of Berlin nuisance ordinance.

Attempts to reach Bourque for comment Saturday were not successful.

Earlier this week, neighbors said the couple and young child moved into the York Street apartment five months ago.

Rita Smith, who lives next door to 109 York St., said Monday that she never saw the girl outside the residence.

“All summer long I could hear her crying,” said Smith, who called the toddler’s death “a horrible thing.”

Berlin Mayor Paul Grenier called the death “a terrible tragedy.”

“It shouldn’t happen in any community,” said Grenier, who expressed his faith that “the Attorney General’s Office and the Coos County Superior Court will bring the perpetrator to swift and proper judgment and punishment.”

He added: “It’s truly sad that a 2-year-old had to suffer like she did.”

Anyone with information relevant to the investigation is asked to contact Sgt. Nathan Zipfat of the New Hampshire State Police at 419-8124.

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