BRENTWOOD — A judge is allowing four police officers wounded during a shootout that killed Greenland’s police chief in April 2012 a two-month extension to come up with evidence supporting their claims that the gunman’s mother can be held legally responsible for her son’s actions.
Judge Kenneth McHugh was expected to dismiss the lawsuit against Beverly Mutrie by Jan. 1.
But McHugh granted a request by a lawyer representing the officers requesting more time to seek un-redacted reports from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms about a gun used in the deadly shootout. The ATF has already once refused to release information about the firearm in question after the officers made a request through the Freedom of Information Act.
The gunman, Cullen Mutrie, 29, opened fire on the four officers with the state’s Drug Task Force on April 12, 2012 while they were executing a no-knock warrant on his Greenland home. Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney pulled one of the wounded officers to safety before being shot and killed by Mutrie.
Beverly Mutrie’s lawyer, Donald Smith, objected to giving the officers any more time beyond the Jan. 1 deadline previously set by McHugh. He argued that continuing the lawsuit would only add to his client’s legal bills, and cause her mental anguish.
“It has now been nearly one-and-a-half years since the plaintiffs sued Ms. Mutrie, yet it is still apparent that (they) lack any evidentiary support to sustain their claim against (her),” Smith said in a court motion.
Smith submitted to McHugh a portion of the report by the Greenland Review Commission that concluded the handgun used by Cullen Mutrie to shoot the four officers — a .357 magnum revolver — was purchased by his girlfriend Brittany Tibbets at a Manchester gun show.
Mutrie killed Tibbets during the hours-long standoff with police and turned the gun on himself.
The review commission’s 3,039-page report reviewed the actions of the officers and includes information from FBI and ATF agents who assisted in the investigation.
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.
The officer’s lawyer, Christopher Grant, is appealing the U.S. Justice Department’s denial of the Freedom of Information Act request.