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Man charged with hacking brother, mother to death found guilty of driving with a suspended license

Union Leader Correspondent

July 12. 2013 3:38PM

Shawn Carter enters a Franklin courtroom in June. (Dan Seufert/Union Leader)

FRANKLIN – Now charged with the hacking deaths of his mother and brother in May, a judge found Shawn Carter guilty Friday morning of driving with a suspended license, charges that kept him in custody until murder charges could be brought.

At his arraignment Wednesday, Carter, 31, was ordered held without bail pending a probable cause hearing later this month on second-degree murder charges alleging he hacked his brother and mother to death in May. The bodies of Timothy Carther, 39, and Priscilla Carter, 59, were found May 24 at the family's just-rented home at 20 Sunset Drive in Belmont.

Carter, 31, has been charged with alternate theories of second-degree murder. One set alleges Shawn Carter recklessly caused the deaths, the other that he knowingly caused the deaths, according to Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffery Strelzin. The manner of death for both victims was multiple chop wounds on either May 23 or 24.

In court Friday, officers Stephen Akerstrom and Gary Boisvert of the Belmont Police Department testified they saw the murder victims that morning and later stopped Carter in Tilton with the help of local police because they were looking for Priscilla Carter's car in connection with the homicide investigation.

While an alert had gone out for police to be on the lookout for Shawn Carter related to the homicide investigation, that wasn't what precipitated the motor vehicle stop, prosecutor Ryan McFarland told the court.

"There were officer safety issues," McFarland said, "but when the officers stopped (Carter) they did not know who was in the car."

Carter was taken into custody on Route 3 about 2:20 p.m., a few hours after the bodies of his mother and brother were discovered.

Public defender Eric Wolpin asked the court to dismiss the driving under suspension charge and bail violation charges against Carter because police had insufficient cause for the motor vehicle stop on May 24. The public defender said the state also failed to provide sufficient information about the stop and arrest to the defense.

But Judge Edward Gordon disagreed, finding the state had sufficient cause to stop Carter and found him guilty.

"I think the state has shown that the stop was made on the basis that the vehicle belonged to (Priscilla Carter), and the car was missing from the scene that morning," the judge said.

On the traffic charges, Carter was given a $500 fine and 30 days in jail; he was credited with 15 days of pretrial confinement.

A probable cause hearing on the murder charges is scheduled for July 22 at 1 p.m.


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