- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 23, 2014

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - After an eight-month investigation, New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster said Wednesday there is not enough evidence to charge a Weare police officer who authorities say shot and killed a drug suspect in August.

Foster issued a report that was sharply critical of Weare police officers the night 35-year-old Alex Cora DeJesus was killed. But it failed to reach a conclusion on whether the shooting was justified or reasonable.

Foster cited conflicting statements by officers and eyewitnesses as the primary reason he didn’t think a jury would convict the officer who fired the fatal shot. He called the inconsistencies “troubling.”

Although authorities believe two officers fired at 35-year-old Alex Cora DeJesus of Manchester, Foster said Officer Nicholas Nadeau fired the shot that killed him.

Foster said while he could not successfully prosecute Nadeau for his conduct that night, that conclusion “is not an endorsement of the police conduct that led up to DeJesus‘ death.”



Foster said the police plan to lure DeJesus from Manchester and capture him was “ill-conceived and obviously placed many police officers and private citizens at unnecessary risk.”

“While there is no doubt that DeJesus was engaged in criminal activity that night, there was nothing about the situation that demanded the rash and poorly-planned response that ensued,” the report states.

Attorney Larry Vogelman, who represents DeJesus‘ father, said he plans to file a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Weare police based on the report’s findings.

“As the report indicates, the actions of virtually every police officer at the scene were inappropriate,” Vogelman said. “The report goes out of its way to say there’s no real proof that it (the shooting) was justified.”

Police Chief John Velleca, who was hired after the shooting, said he plans to increase training and improve supervision. He said he was particularly troubled that Nadeau had been working overtime and had only four hours sleep in the 25 hours before the shooting.

“Nick Nadeau is a former Marine with a Purple Heart for injuries in Fallujah,” Velleca said. “He knows how and when to use deadly force. There was no proper supervision that night. He was set up to fail.”

Sgt. Joseph Kelley, the supervisor that night, was fired in November for violating department policies. Velleca, who recommended he be fired, would not say if it was connect to the fatal shooting.

Foster concluded that Kelley’s decision “to pursue a drug investigation and high-risk arrest without proper planning, training or manpower, led to the chain of events that resulted in the death of one man and placed five others at risk of serious bodily injury or death.”

The police used a confidential informant to lure DeJesus to Weare that night to sell heroin in a parking lot.

Foster was critical of police for enticing DeJesus to drive from Manchester when they knew, because of a phone conversation the informant had with him, that he had been using heroin and cocaine.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide