The Dearborn Street house targeted for arson by Carl D. Manning, the man shot and killed by Manchester police last week, belonged to a former girlfriend who had repeatedly — and unsuccessfully — implored a judge to take action against his ongoing stalking activities.
In the meantime, Manning, 62 and a veteran, had been the subject of a stalking-related arrest warrant that was issued more than two months ago but never served, according to filings that his ex-girlfriend made in Manchester District Court.
In several filings in the domestic violence petition, she accused Manning of driving by her 37 Dearborn St. house in violation of a July protection order. He had also resorted to cyber harassment, sent revenge porn to her boyfriend, spread sheetrock screws in an unspecified area, and yelled obscenities at her.
However, Manning remained free. Court records make no mention of his arrest, despite a warrant issued against him sometime before Feb. 1, according to court filings.
Anticipating his arrest, the ex-girlfriend asked a judge to hold Manning without bail and reopen the protective order. She had filed three other requests with the judge since Jan. 1.
“The court does not have authority (to) grant this relief within the context of this civil order,” Manchester District Court Judge Kimberly Chabot wrote on Feb. 4, adding a statement she wrote in several past orders: It’s the job of police to enforce the order.
Manchester police directed a Union Leader reporter to the Attorney General’s office, which is investigating Manning’s death.
“Since there is an ongoing investigation in regards to Manning (handled by the Attorney General) we won’t be able to comment,” police spokeswoman Heather Hamel wrote in an email.
Associate Attorney General Jeffery Strelzin said he has obtained the court files on the protective order but has not had the chance to review them. He did not have information about Manning’s military service.
A victim advocacy organization said a judge could have ordered Manning into court on a contempt hearing and possibly ordered him jailed if the case was still open. And state law requires police to make an arrest when someone violates a protective order, said Amanda Grady Sexton, director of public affairs for the Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
Sexton said research shows that people who violate protective orders are the most likely to commit homicide in a domestic violence situation.
“Now more than ever, we really need to be taking these issues seriously,” Sexton said. “These are the most dangerous crimes in New Hampshire, and they account for a majority of homicides.”
The violence intensified about 3 a.m. on April 5, a Sunday, when Manning’s ex-girlfriend’s neighbors called police to say they heard an explosion and saw her house on fire.
Police labeled the fire, which destroyed a garage and damaged the house, as suspicious. Police asked for the public’s help to find Manning and released his photograph.
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Later that evening, police approached a white pickup truck parked on Lake Shore Road. Authorities say Manning was inside the truck and appeared to be armed. A confrontation followed; an autopsy determined that he died from a gunshot wound to the neck.
In announcing the death, homicide prosecutors said Manning was wanted for violation of a protective and stalking order that was unrelated to the fire/explosion. Manchester police made similar statements.
A review of his lengthy court record shows that the ex-girlfriend was the only person to have taken out a domestic violence protective order against Manning over the last nine years.
The ex-girlfriend filed the initial petition last July, complaining about the “volatile domestic abuse” in the home. Manning threatened to kill her if she went to police, she wrote. She said he was a veteran, gets a disability check and had deceived his parole officer about participation in drug treatment at the Veterans Administration.
“He is constantly smoking crack and lying about where his disability check has gone,” she wrote. Meanwhile, she lost her job because of his constant phone calls and harassment at her work, she wrote.
Within a week, a judge had issued a final protective order.
But Manning filed challenges, and the former girlfriend kept notifying the judge of violations and efforts to get the order enforced. For example, she asked a judge to remove Manning from the Dearborn Street house, which she owned.
On Jan. 22, she wrote that Manning had driven by her house, which would be a violation of the order, and shouted obscenities at her. He also called her boyfriend and made more threats.
Manning told Manchester police that he didn’t have a car, so the ex-girlfriend filmed his truck and provided the license number to police, she wrote.
“He has harassed and stalked me in New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts,” she wrote.