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Man shot by Nashua police indicted on 16 felony charges
NASHUA — The man shot and wounded by a city police officer last month has been indicted on numerous felony charges in connection with the altercation.
A Hillsborough County Superior Court grand jury has handed up 16 indictments against Craig Riley, 41, with a last known address of 5 New Haven Drive.
On March 22, Officer Stephen Morrill shot Riley twice when Riley allegedly tried to grab the patrolman’s gun and managed to obtain the officer’s expandable baton.
Morrill was attempting to speak with Riley outside the Knightsbridge Arms Condominium development about a shoplifting incident in another community when Riley allegedly ran from authorities.
According to court documents, police say Riley ran from Morrill three times during the incident, which escalated into an altercation between the two men. The indictments state that Riley allegedly grabbed Morrill’s baton and swung it twice at the officer.
Riley is also accused of pushing Morrill twice, striking him three times, placing his arm around the officer’s neck and trying to grab his firearm, according to the indictments.
During the incident, Morrill eventually pulled his gun and fired two shots, according to assistant attorney general Peter Hinckley. Both shots hit Riley, Hinckley said previously, declining to elaborate on where Riley was struck.
Riley has been indicted on six counts of reckless conduct or simple assault with enhanced penalties against a police officer, four counts of resisting arrest or detention, and one charge each of first-degree assault, criminal threatening, attempting to take a gun from a law enforcement officer, being a felon in possession of a dangerous weapon, operating as a certified habitual offender and being in possession of heroin.
Attorney Anthony Sculimbrene, along with Kelsey Engelbrecht, will be serving as Riley’s legal team in the case. “Mr. Riley and the people we serve, they deserve to be represented,” Sculimbrene said Monday.
“We are ready to fight,” said Sculimbrene, who declined to discuss specifics of the officer-involved shooting that led to Riley’s hospitalization.
Last week, the Nashua Telegraph reported that a defense motion was filed in Hillsborough County Superior Court indicating that Riley may have been shot in the back by Morrill. On Monday, Sculimbrene refused to comment or elaborate on that report.
“We did file a motion last week. That motion has since been sealed,” he said.
Riley, a convicted felon, is being held on $75,000 cash-only bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.
Following department protocol, Morrill, who has been a city police officer for nearly four years, was placed on paid administrative leave after the shooting, according to Police Chief John Seusing.
Morrill sustained minor injuries during the altercation and was released from the hospital. When any type of deadly force is used by a police officer in Nashua, Seusing said earlier that it is customary to place an officer on leave.
During Morrill’s leave, the department will conduct an internal review to determine if any procedures or policies were violated, focusing on training aspects and equipment, according to Seusing.
A professional standards bureau will put together a review of the situation, which will then be studied by the chief, who will make a determination as to whether the deadly force was justified.
Even though Riley survived the shooting, the review is still warranted, Seusing said previously. The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office is also investigating the case.
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