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Sketchy facts may chart the criminal defense issues in a case

When charges are made under the New Hampshire Criminal Code, the authorities must assure that the evidence is solid and will hold up under scrutiny to justify a conviction. One recent arrest seems to raise some criminal defense issues, at least in terms of the sketchy details surrounding the events. Police in Manchester arrested a 19-year-old man in connection with a fight allegedly occurring with his ex-girlfriend.

The woman called police to complain that her ex-boyfriend threatened her in a text message by including a gun emoji and telling her he would "shoot her place up" if she would not see him. When the suspect actually showed up at her door, she reportedly refused to open it. According to police reports, the woman heard a gunshot outside of her apartment.

She said she thought that the suspect was fighting with an unidentified person outside prior to the shot going off. She reported that a bullet allegedly went through the windshield of her car. Police arrested the man at a restaurant near the apartment. They charged him with domestic criminal threatening and witness tampering. The witness tampering was with respect to the gun emoji, with a message telling her to not contact police regarding the earlier incident.

There was no arrest regarding the shooting outside and damage to the woman's car, which indicates that the hearsay nature of the woman's testimony would not generally hold up in court, unless corroborated by independent, admissible evidence. The witness tampering issue may be challenged if the woman would not qualify as being a witness in an actual criminal event. In general, the facts reported are spotty and will have to be pinned down before the suspect's criminal defense pursuant to the New Hampshire criminal law can be strategized.  

Source:, "Man arrested after texting gun emoji to ex-girlfriend, police say", April 14, 2016

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