DOVER — In the wake of a mistrial, prosecutors Thursday assured the court they will not withhold any evidence pertinent to the double-murder trial of Timothy Verrill.
Verrill, 37, of Dover, is alleged to have brutally murdered Christine Sullivan, 48, and Jenna Pellegrini, 32, of Barrington, on Jan. 27, 2017 at 979 Meaderboro Road in Farmington, a home Sullivan shared with convicted drug dealer Dean Smoronk.
Nearly three weeks into Verrill’s Strafford County trial, Judge Steven Houran dismissed the jury on Nov. 1 because state police had withheld evidence from the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office and Verrill’s public defenders.
According to court records, after the mistrial, prosecutors began to look at the evidence that was omitted. In it they found a report of a suspicious vehicle spotted near Sullivan’s storage space in Somersworth two weeks after her death; multiple reports from police in Cape Coral, Fla., regarding Smoronk; and phone calls Smoronk made from Pamunkey Regional Jail in Virginia after being arrested for selling steroids in June 2017.
During Thursday’s hearing, public defender Meredith Lugo told Judge Houran the defense would need time to consider and evaluate what evidence prosecutors do turn over. She said the defense wants all evidence collected by the New Hampshire State Police Narcotics and Special Investigations Unit.
The unit, Lugo said, had been working with the DEA to investigate Smoronk and Sullivan prior to the murders.
“The homicides themselves could be linked to this drug operation and drug investigation,” she said.
Lugo and fellow public defender Julia Nye argue that Verrill is innocent and that it was Smoronk who had hired someone to kill Sullivan because he wanted to expand his drug trafficking business in New Hampshire with the help of a local motorcycle club.
Pellegrini was staying with Sullivan while Smoronk was checking on a rental property and visiting a second girlfriend in Cape Coral, Fla., on the night the two women were killed in Farmington. Prosecutors allege Verrill killed Pellegrini because he thought she was a snitch.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Geoffrey Ward is the lead prosecutor on the double murder case. Ward told Houran the state will provide any additional materials related to the narcotics investigation.
“Our intent is not to object to the disclosure of any information,” Ward said.
Houran told Ward any potential evidence related to the homicides and drug investigation must be turned over to Lugo and Nye.
“Make sure there is nothing left out there,” he admonished.
Ward said after the hearing that he can turn over state police information, but that he is not privy to federal evidence or what may have been obtained by police in other states where Smoronk allegedly sold drugs. He said Lugo and Nye can independently try to get those materials as part of their defense.
Smoronk is currently being held on new federal drug charges, but Ward said he does not know where.
A status conference is scheduled for Dec. 18 at 11:30 a.m.