Nephew charged in deadly hatchet attack on New Hampshire man

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 08, 2011 12:48 PM
Nephew charged in deadly hatchet attack on New Hampshire man

LITTLETON, New Hampshire (Reuters) - An elderly New Hampshire man was killed by being violently struck in the head with a hatchet, and his nephew is accused of murder in the death, authorities said on Friday.

Noel St. Laurent, 91, died at his Lyndeborough, New Hampshire home on Tuesday from multiple chop wounds to the head with a hatchet, said New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney in a statement.

The death was ruled a homicide, the statement said.

Glenn Rodgers, 44, the nephew of St. Laurent's wife, Gloria, was charged with one count of reckless second-degree murder on Wednesday in Milford District Court.

Rodgers had been living with the elderly couple since March, said Susan Morrell, New Hampshire senior assistant attorney general. The couple raised Rodgers together for most of his life, Morrell said in a phone interview.

Authorities were at the early stages of the investigation, and no possible motive has been announced, Morrell said. She would not comment on whether an argument had preceded the attack.

Police officers responding to a call on Tuesday afternoon discovered St. Laurent inside the antique white house on a country road in the town, located about 30 miles west of Manchester. Morrell said Rodgers was on the property and surrendered to police.

He is scheduled for a probable cause hearing in court on July 18.

(Reporting by Zach Howard in Conway, Mass.; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Greg McCune)