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Manchester man charged with assault may face stiffer charges after prosecutor suggests he might be East High Street shooter


MANCHESTER — A bail commissioner had set $3,000 cash/surety bail for Malachi Yahtues, 40, after he was arrested on warrants for simple assault and criminal threatening of a woman Saturday.

Yahtues, of 406 Hanover St., pleaded innocent to those charges at his arraignment Wednesday in Circuit Court-Manchester District Division and trial was set for July 30.

The simple assault charge alleges he punched Ashley Willows, 29, in the face Saturday afternoon after she walked to his Hanover Street residence to collect money she said he owes her.

The criminal threatening charge alleges he grabbed Willows by the neck and pulled from her back pocket a folding knife, opened the knife and told her: “I’ll kill your dog.”

Police prosecutor Carrissa Pelletier said Willows told police she carries the knife for protection.

Pelletier told Judge Thomas Barry that new information warrants changing the initial $3,000 cash/surety bail. Pelletier requested $10,000 cash-only bail.

Yahtues has not been charged, but Pelletier told the judge that he allegedly is the man who fired shots at Willows at her residence early Sunday morning. One of the bullets hit her below the right shoulder and another hit her in the right hip area.

Although police said the bullets did not penetrate the skin, Willows pulled aside her shirt Monday to show a Union Leader reporter the mark left by one of the bullets.

The reporter said it appeared the bullet had penetrated the skin slightly.

In support of her bail request, Pelletier said Yahtues has convictions in Massachusetts that include assault with a dangerous weapon, cocaine distribution and weapons and ammunition issues.

According to the Lawrence, Mass., police log that appeared on a Massachusetts newspaper website Wednesday, Yahtues was arrested there at 1:16 a.m. Saturday on a charge of operating after suspension.

The prosecutor said Willows is now terrified of Yahtues.

Pelletier asked that Yahtues’ bail conditions bar contact with Willows, bar him from Willows' East High Street address, or anywhere else she might reside, and require him to stay at least 300 feet away from her.

The judge set bail at $10,000 cash-only, with the conditions requested by the prosecutor.

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