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Convicted killer allegedly attacked by fellow inmate

Special to the Union Leader

February 22. 2013 11:15PM


HAVERHILL - As convicted murderer Robert R. LaCombe spent his first day Friday of what is likely to be at least 40 years in state prison, it appears he had already come under physical attack from a fellow inmate at the Grafton County jail in North Haverhill during his more than 600 days of pre-sentence confinement there.

According to a Grafton County Superior Court grand jury indictment released Friday, Benjamin Dwyer Allen, of West Lebanon, who will be 30 on Tuesday, is charged with assaults by prisoners for an altercation last month with LaCombe.

Allen, on Jan. 19, "punched and kicked Robert R. LaCombe in the head and/or body," according to the indictment. The charge is one of two similar Class B felony indictments against Allen that the grand jury handed up at its February session. Allen is also accused of punching inmate Benjamin Goodwin in the head and/or face and/or stomach on Nov. 3 last year.

LaCombe has begun a term of 55 years to life for the shooting deaths of a young Grafton couple - Will Hatch and Crystal Farnham - who befriended the jobless LaCombe, feeding, housing and otherwise supporting him over some four months.

When the couple finally had their fill of the long-term guest and asked him to leave, he turned on them and killed them in a vicious 2011 attack at their home that involved multiple shootings of each victim, a state prosecutor said Thursday.

Before he was sentenced Thursday and transported to Concord, LaCombe had to face the verbal wrath of a number of his victims' family members who were given the opportunity to speak in superior court. None of them thought his sentence was adequate.

If he meets behavioral conditions in the coming decades, LaCombe could get 15 years taken off his 55-year minimum sentence. If that happens, and even with the credit he got for nearly two years in the Grafton County jail, the 26-year-old LaCombe would be around 60 when he got out.

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