$10,000 and bloody shoe prints at scene of NH killing

Posted Feb. 10, 2011, at 6:28 a.m.

DOVER, NH — Police found bundles of money totaling $10,400 in a purse confiscated from Dianna Saunders on the night her longtime boyfriend David King was found slain in the basement of their home.

During Saunders’ murder conspiracy trial at the Strafford County Courthouse, Dover Police Officer Paul Venin told the court and Judge Maurguerite Wageling that when he documented the crime scene that night on Aug. 29, 2008, he had found bloody footwear prints belonging to a woman or child, two DVDs and an empty shell casing.

The footwear prints appeared to be heading up the basement stairs to the first floor of the home.

The shell casing appeared to be either a blank or from a nail gun, according to Venin.

The two DVDs — a copy of “Jumper” and another of “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” — were presumably dropped near King’s body and collected by police as evidence, Venin testified. Blood had splattered on one of the cases.

Saunders allegedly had been to the Blockbuster Video store picking up two movies and had been to the Shaw’s grocery store at the time of King’s death, which is estimated by police to be sometime between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Venin said during the investigation, police had also located Saunders’ purse in the first floor master bedroom. Inside the purse, police found a receipt from the Shaw’s Supermarket dated Aug. 29, 2008 at 6:12 p.m., a calendar, $10,400 in cash, a small coin purse, check books and other items.

King was found in the basement lying on his back with a gunshot wound to the head and lacerations to his throat and chest. There was also a mark on King’s left temple.

“It appeared to be a suspicious mark,” Venin said when asked what he had thought it was at the time. “It could have been a stab wound or a gunshot wound.”

Senior Assistant Attorney General Janice Rundles also called Saunders’ neighbors to the stand. One, Dale McLaskey, took the stand Wednesday afternoon and said his backyard abuts the 81 Old Dover Point Road property where King was found dead.

“I saw two males walking up into the yard,” he said of that night. “They came out behind the camper and walked this way and then turned into the woods.”

He described one man as tall and thin with black hair wearing camouflage and the other as shorter with a light colored hair cut into a short, military-style hair cut. The shorter man was said to be wearing dark colored clothing. McLaskey identified the two as individuals he had seen living with Saunders and King the year before.

The two were said to have been heading away from Saunders home and in the direction of a trail in the woods.

Another nearby resident testified he had seen a green Jeep Grand Cherokee backed into the walkway of a trail just a few hundred yards from the home on the day before the murder at around 4:40 p.m.

“I noticed the Massachusetts plates,” said Anthony Vendasi. “It had red and white tags.”

The next day, he claims he saw the same Jeep Grand Cherokee heading down the road away from Old Dover Point Road at around 6:30 p.m.

Massachusetts State Trooper Joseph Michael Crowley took the stand saying at about 6 p.m. on Aug. 29, he had seen a green Jeep Grand Cherokee with Massachusetts license plates traveling north on I-95 toward New Hampshire. When he ran the plates he discovered the vehicle was registered to a Scott Mazzone.

Dianna Saunders is charged with conspiracy to commit murder, accomplice to first-degree murder and two counts of felony theft.

Saunders is accused of hiring her ex-husband, Roy Saunders, to kill King to cover up an alleged theft from Dr. William Meredith. Roy Saunders is said to have hired his son, Derek Saunders, and Derek’s roommate, Scott Mazzone, to commit King’s murder.

The trial will continue today and testimony is expected to take three weeks.

Copyright (c) 2011, Foster’s Daily Democrat, Dover, N.H.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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