NEWPORT — The 77-year-old husband of a woman shot to death in her home Tuesday will not be charged because of “his deteriorating mental and medical condition” authorities said Thursday of George “Graham” Clarke.
Margaret “Peggy” Clarke, 75, was found dead in her home at 553 Maple St. on Tuesday afternoon, after police said someone called 911 to report a woman had been shot.
“The accused is suffering from terminal cognitive and physical health issues including dementia and is currently at a medical facility,” the Attorney General’s statement said of Graham Clarke. “Under these circumstances and due to concerns regarding Mr. Clarke’s legal competency, no criminal charges will be brought at this time.”
Peggy Clarke was shot in the chest, according to authorities. Her death was ruled a homicide by the New Hampshire Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on Wednesday.
Next-door neighbor Steven Benson said Wednesday he used to play cards with Peggy Clarke. He didn’t give any indication he knew of Graham Clarke’s condition, and said the couple appeared happy. He was shocked by the shooting.
“I didn’t even know he had a gun,” Benson said.
Benson said he saw Graham Clarke sitting outside the home and talking to detectives after the shooting on Tuesday.
The Clarkes first bought their home in 1967, according to town records. They put the property in the names of their adult daughters, Kaara Gonyo and Darlene Reid, in 2016.
Neither Reid nor Gonyo could be reached for comment on Thursday evening.