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Murder indictments handed down in Nashua fatal beating

Union Leader Correspondent

February 23. 2018 3:26PM
Devin Tappan, formerly of Nashua, enters a courtroom last year after his arrest on charges of killing Javier Rivera Afanador of Nashua. (Kimberly Houghton/Union Leader Correspondent)

NASHUA — More than a year after his arrest in connection with the beating death of a resident in his Nashua apartment building, Devin Tappan has been indicted for murder.

A Hillsborough County Superior Court grand jury handed up two indictments asserting alternative theories of second-degree murder for the death of Javier Rivera Afanador, as well as four counts of armed robbery, according to court records.

Tappan, 31, previously of 32 Kinsley St., Apt. 1, “did recklessly cause the death of (Afanador) by inflicting blunt force trauma to his head under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to the value of human life,” according to court records.

The alternative second-degree murder charge alleges that Tappan knowingly caused the death of Afanador, 45, of 32 Kinsley St., Apt. 8.

Tappan was arrested shortly after the Jan. 6, 2017, murder and has been held without bail at Hillsborough County jail.

A police affidavit detailing the murder has been sealed at the courthouse, and authorities have refused to comment on the relationship between the two men who lived in the same apartment building but occupied different units. Police earlier said Afanador was repeatedly struck in the head with a hand-held weight.

Competency issues were raised within weeks of Tappan’s arrest, according to court records. His legal team was previously granted a competency evaluation and mental health evaluation to determine whether Tappan is competent to stand trial.

“It is also counsel’s understanding that Mr. Tappan has been found incompetent to stand trial in other matters unrelated to the current case, and that he (previously) ended a term of conditional discharge from the New Hampshire Hospital,” court documents state.

At the time of his arrest, Tappan allegedly had an outburst at the Nashua Police Department that led to numerous additional charges, including resisting arrest, criminal threatening, criminal mischief, simple assault and breach of bail. He is accused of urinating on the carpet and chairs at the police station, threatening to punch a police detective in the face, pulling away from authorities while they tried to place him in handcuffs and kicking an officer in the stomach.

In addition to the murder indictments, Tappan also has been indicted on four charges of armed robbery for allegedly brandishing a knife in front of a Rite-Aid employee on Nov. 21, 2016, in Hudson and demanding money, brandishing a knife at Walgreens employees on Nov. 30, 2016, in Hudson while demanding cash and cigarettes and a similar crime on Nov. 28, 2016, at a Shell gas station in Nashua.

A court clerk said Friday that Tappan’s arraignment on the murder charges has not yet been scheduled.

Courts Crime Nashua

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