NH police shooter and his girlfriend sold drugs, records show

Posted April 17, 2012, at 9 p.m.
Last modified April 17, 2012, at 9:21 p.m.
Cullen Mutrie
Portsmouth, N.H., Police Department
Cullen Mutrie
Brittany Tibbetts
Brittany Tibbetts

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — Donna Tibbetts spent the day before her daughter’s memorial angry at the child she had dearly loved for getting mixed up with drug dealing.

Court records unsealed Tuesday showed that police were seeking Brittany Tibbetts’ arrest when they went to what turned into a deadly raid at her boyfriend’s home last week.

Authorities said Cullen Mutrie, 29, killed Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney and injured four drug task force officers as they tried to enter his home. T hen he turned a gun on Tibbetts and himself.

“This is not how she was brought up,” Donna Tibbetts told The Associated Press in a phone interview. “… I feel like she just got led down the wrong path with someone she just couldn’t let go … For her to be involved in something like this, it breaks my heart.”

The court records showed that police believed both Mutrie and Tibbetts were involved in selling more than 500 prescription pills every few days from his home. They had a separate warrant for Tibbetts’ arrest.

Documents also revealed that police previously arranged for an informant to buy drugs at the home, and that person made the deal with Tibbetts.

Authorities found their bodies in the house after a tense standoff. Tibbetts, a 26-year-old cosmetologist and former high school softball standout, had a gunshot wound to her head.

Donna Tibbetts, a school system cook in Maine, said her daughter had been living with Mutrie until they split about three weeks ago. But her daughter went back to check on him when he became upset about losing a ring that had belonged to his late father.

The woman said she last talked to her daughter the day after Easter, when Brittany Tibbetts had celebrated the holiday with her family and given haircuts to her grandparents.

Tibbetts said her daughter told her she’d had a good interview at a salon that day and hoped to get the job.

The mother said she wished police had arrested her daughter in public before showing up to raid Mutrie’s residence.

Police returned her daughter’s mini Pinscher, Diesel, to the family after finding him with her daughter’s body in the home’s basement. The dog now wears a new collar that reads, “Mama loves you always.”

While Brittany Tibbetts’ funeral will be a private memorial on Wednesday at her family’s home, signs along a busy New Hampshire road on Tuesday warned motorists to expect delays in the area because services for Maloney are expected to draw thousands.

The police chief’s wake will be held Wednesday and his memorial service will be at noon Thursday at Winnacunnet High School athletic field in Hampton. Two of the other four officers that authorities said Mutrie shot are still hospitalized, but are expected to survive.

The chief died just days before his retirement after telling selectmen at a meeting last week that he had one final item to clear up.

Police had been investigating Mutrie since at least 2010. Officers who went to his house to confiscate guns after a domestic violence arrest found anabolic steroids. Neighbors also had complained about Mutrie and their suspicions about drug activity at his home, according to court records.

Neighbors told police in February 2011 that they heard him yell into his phone, “How much an ounce?”

Earlier this year, an informant told police that Mutrie and Tibbetts were dealing oxycodone out of the home, more than 500 pills every few days.

An undercover detective brought the informant to the house and the informant reported buying 10 pills from Tibbetts. Officers conducting surveillance over the next few months reported seeing cars at the house that belonged to people with drug arrest records.

The new court records emerged Tuesday, after Associate Attorney General Jane Young asked a judge to unseal a warrant that allowed officers on a drug task force to search Mutrie’s home.

Authorities blacked out one paragraph of the related affidavit, citing an investigation.

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