Wounded police officers' suit in Greenland shootout gets one more chance from judge
BRENTWOOD — Four police officers wounded during a shootout that killed Greenland's police chief on April 12, 2012, are being given one last chance to come up with evidence that the gunman's mother can be held legally responsible for her son's actions, according to a judge's order.
Judge Kenneth McHugh told the officers, "although this case continues to hang by a thread," he will give their lawyer until Jan. 1 to demonstrate there was evidence linking a gun used in the deadly shootout to Beverly Mutrie.
Mutrie's 29-year-old son, Cullen, opened fire on the four officers with the state's Drug Task Force while they were executing a no-knock warrant on the Greenland home where he lived.
Greenland police Chief Michael Maloney pulled one of the wounded officers to safety before being shot and killed by Mutrie. Cullen Mutrie then killed his girlfriend, Brittany Tibbets, and turned the gun on himself, ending an hours-long standoff.
Lawyer Christopher Grant, who is representing the officers, said in court papers that he has made requests to the state Attorney General's Office and U.S. Department of Justice for unredacted investigatory reports to support the lawsuit.
Grant said last December that he had requested from the state Attorney General's Office an unredacted copy of a report by the Greenland Review Commission.
The lawsuit does not name the officers, but they have been identified by authorities as Newmarket Detective Scott Kukesh, University of New Hampshire Detective Eric Kulberg, Rochester Detective Jeremiah Murphy, and Dover Detective Gregory Turner.
That 3,039-page report reviewed the actions of the officers and includes information from FBI and ATF agents who assisted in the investigation.
Donald Smith, a lawyer who represents Beverly Mutrie, said the report by the Greenland Review Commission already makes clear that the handgun used by Cullen Mutrie to shoot the four officers — a .357 magnum revolver — was bought by Tibbets at a Manchester gun show.
"Ms. Mutrie did not own or provide the gun that Cullen Mutrie used to injure the plaintiffs, and the plaintiffs' claims against Ms. Mutrie must be dismissed," Smith said in court papers.
McHugh denied Smith's latest argued to dismiss the lawsuit on Oct. 3.
Grant claims that Beverly Mutrie managed the trust that controlled the Greenland home her son lived in, along with a firearm used in the shooting.
The officers argue that Beverly Mutrie's control over the trust gives them grounds to hold her legally responsible. The officer's allege she knew of her son's drug activities and allowed crimes to occur.