BELMONT — A Belmont man has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the hacking deaths of his mother and brother in the Lake Winnisquam rental home they shared.
Shawn Carter, 31, of Belmont will be arraigned today for the murders on May 23 or 24 of his mother, Priscilla Carter, and his brother, Timothy Carter, 39, in the 20 Sunset Drive residence.
Mother and son were found on May 24. The owner of the house said at the time that they had occupied the home as renters for about a month.
Attorney Jesse Friedman of the New Hampshire Public Defender's office in Laconia, who represents Carter in another case, said he would be in court with Carter today. He had no comment on the murder charges.
Shawn Carter was not named as a suspect in the case until his arrest Tuesday, but was taken into custody hours after the bodies were discovered. An alert for Carter was issued by Belmont police soon after the murders; Carter was picked up by Tilton officers about three hours later.
At the time, Tilton police said Carter was detained in connection with the homicides. But he was held on a traffic offense — a charge of driving after suspension of his license. Bail was set at $200 pending trial.
The filing of the murder charge comes just three days before a hearing at which prosecutors had been ordered to produce information about the traffic stop cited in Carter's arrest. Carter had been scheduled for trial on the traffic charge on June 11.
But when the trial date arrived, Friedman demanded to know what gave the police the probable cause needed to make the stop that resulted in the charge.
"The state needs to bring their cards in front of us. If he's going to be charged with something (in relation to the murders), bring it," Friedman told the judge.
Judge Ned Gordon ordered prosecutor Ryan McFarland to respond and continued the case to this Friday.
Gordon set aside up to three hours for the hearing, commenting that the matter could "take some time."
Carter was hit with an additional charge when he appeared in court in June. The new charge related to an alleged attempt to sell cocaine to an undercover police officer in March 2012.
If the traffic case had been disposed of on the scheduled trial date, the cocaine charge could have kept Carter in jail awaiting trial.
Two weeks before Timothy and Priscilla Carter were found murdered, the owner of a nearby business had sought and obtained a restraining order to keep Carter away from his shop.
"It was really strange," Ed Crawford, owner of Winnisquam Marine, said shortly after the murders. "He kept wandering over to our buildings."
An autopsy determined that both Carters suffered multiple wounds and that Priscilla Carter also suffered blunt force injuries, the Attorney General's Office said.
Arraignment on the murder charge is scheduled for Laconia District Court this morning.