Nashua man indicted for brutal assault on Merrimack momBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
December 31. 2012 10:32AM
The indictments, which were handed up by a superior court grand jury in December, allege that Thomas V. Foden, 39, of Nashua, caused serious injury to his mother, Alicia J. Flanders, 66, of 50 Pondview Drive.
Foden, who has a history of mental illness, has been indicted on three felony counts of second-degree assault and one felony count of burglary for the Nov. 25 attack.
According to court documents, Foden allegedly invaded his mother's home and began assaulting her, pushing her into a glass cabinet that severed her left ear and caused her left eye socket to rupture. Court records indicate that the ear, which was found by authorities, could not be reattached, and that Flanders lost vision in her left eye because of the injury. After the attack, Flanders was found by police covered in blood in the backyard of her residence holding a gardening tool.
Foden had called police to report the crime and admitted to authorities that he assaulted his mother, according to court documents.
"This case is everybody's worst nightmare," Melissa Kowalewski, prosecutor for the Merrimack Police Department, previously told the court.
During Foden's arraignment, Judge Clifford Kinghorn described photographs of Flanders' injuries as "some of the most awful pictures I've ever seen," saying his heart goes out to her. The case has now been transferred from the 9th Circuit Court, Merrimack District Division, to the Hillsborough County Superior Court in Nashua because of the indictments. If convicted, Foden could face up to seven years in prison for each assault charge, along with a maximum of 15 years in prison for the burglary charge.
According to Foden's defense attorney, Amanda Steenhuis, Foden was previously diagnosed with schizophrenia and has ongoing mental health issues.
"This is a tragedy. It is a huge family tragedy," Steenhuis said earlier, explaining that although Foden has a long history of mental instability, he was doing well recently while living alone.
The judge ordered an immediate mental evaluation after Foden's arraignment, at which time Foden was found to be dangerous, and an emergency admission to the New Hampshire Hospital was deemed appropriate. A competency evaluation is now being sought by Foden's lawyers.
Foden has a history of arrests. In 1994 he was convicted of possession of a controlled drug, and in 1997 he was convicted of simple assault and resisting arrest. Foden is listed as unemployed and disabled in court documents. He is being held on $150,000 bail.
In an unrelated matter, Flanders, who is a local landlord, previously rented a Manchester apartment to Lynne Melk Brennan. Flanders found Brennan's body at the 267 River Road apartment in October of 2010. Brennan's death has been ruled homicide, and the case remains unsolved.