NH police: In phone call to friend, Mutrie admitted shooting officers in Greenland tragedy

By Jim Haddadin, Foster's Daily Democrat
Posted April 24, 2012, at 6:29 a.m.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — Police say during the final hours of his life, Cullen Mutrie admitted to a friend that he’d gunned down multiple police officers at his home in Greenland.

Mutrie also “made it clear” to his friend that he wasn’t going to come out of his 517 Post Road home alive, according to police testimony released for the first time on Monday.

Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney was killed and four officers were wounded after Mutrie allegedly opened fire on members of the Attorney General’s Drug Task Force on April 12.

Task force members were attempting to execute two warrants at Mutrie’s home: one to search the property and another to arrest Mutrie’s one-time companion, Brittany Tibbetts.

Mutrie and Tibbetts were at the center of a drug investigation, and police were searching for evidence of cocaine and the prescription painkiller oxycodone at Mutrie’s residence, according to court documents.

Members of the Attorney General’s Drug Task Force were carrying a so-called “no-knock” search warrant when they arrived. The warrant authorized police to enter Mutrie’s home at any time, night or day, without knocking on the door or announcing their presence.

Mutrie barricaded himself inside the home with Tibbetts after the shooting broke out. A tense standoff ensued, and police used a robot to enter the home. They found the bodies of Mutrie and Tibbetts in the basement.

The chief medical examiner has ruled their deaths a murder-suicide, indicating that Mutrie killed himself and Tibbetts, a 26-year-old Berwick, Maine, resident, was murdered.

In the wake of the April 12 incident, State Police working for the Attorney General’s office requested a search warrant authorizing them to collect evidence from Mutrie’s property.

With the search now complete, officials at Portsmouth District Court released several documents related to the search warrant to the public on Monday.

Among those documents is a sworn affidavit provided by State Police Sgt. Joseph Ebert. In written testimony, Ebert said the drug task force was met with gunfire after they arrived at Mutrie’s home at approximately 6:22 p.m. and “attempted to gain entry.”

“Numerous officers” arrived and secured the scene, Ebert wrote, and police made contact with a friend of Mutrie’s, who is identified as “Shane” in the affidavit.

Shane told police he had been in communication with Mutrie a short time after the shootings, and that Mutrie had “admitted that he’d shot the police officers,” according to Ebert’s written testimony.

Officers briefly spoke with Mutrie inside the house and learned that Tibbetts was also inside the home. They soon lost contact with Mutrie, and at approximately 1:20 a.m., police “breached the door” to Mutrie’s house and sent the robot inside.

Among the pieces of evidence seized from the home were two handguns — a .357 magnum revolver and 9 mm pistol — according to information provided by Associate Attorney General Jane Young on Friday.

An inventory of evidence taken from Mutrie’s home indicates police also retrieved rifles from the property, but it’s unclear whether the weapons belonged to Mutrie or if they were carried by police.

An inventory of evidence seized from the home totals 39 items, including drugs, glasses, a glass cover, a vest, cell phones, magazines, ammunition, cartridge casings, bullets, clothing, a flashlight, cigarettes, paperwork, a notebook, a holster, powder, a shotgun wadding, straw, a wallet, drug paraphernalia, a bong, swabs, green vegetative matter, a digital scale, currency, medication, targets and laptops. Police also logged photos, videos and notes into evidence.

On Friday, Rockingham County Attorney Jim Reams confirmed a judge had banned Mutrie from possessing firearms for more than a year. That condition was imposed after Mutrie was arrested in July 2010 and charged with simple assault following a domestic disturbance at his home.

At the time of the April 12 shooting, Mutrie was also facing a slate of new felony steroid possession charges stemming from the 2010 incident. Officers allegedly discovered a variety of anabolic steroids in Mutrie’s coffee table after they arrived to remove firearms from his home. Mutrie was scheduled to stand trial on the charges later this year.

Last week, Maloney, a veteran police officer and chief of police in Greenland for 12 years, was honored by thousands of police officers and area residents with a funeral service at Winnacunnet High School.

Maloney was lauded for his bravery during the shootout at Mutrie’s home by speakers that included New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

Among those in attendance at Thursday’s funeral service was Rochester Police Officer Jeremiah Murphy, who was also wounded in the April 12 shooting.

The other wounded officers were Greg Turner, 32, of the Dover Police Department; Eric Kulberg, 31, of the UNH Police Department; and Scott Kukesh, 33, of the Newmarket Police Department.

Kulberg and Turner were both treated and released from the hospital earlier this month.

Kukesh and Murphy were said to be recuperating at Portsmouth Regional Hospital last week.

A former Hampton Falls firefighter, Mutrie was no stranger to local law enforcement before this month’s alleged rampage. The 29-year-old was known to possess guns, and Mutrie had been convicted of at least one disorderly conduct charge before the bloody April confrontation.

Mutrie was accused of punching a man at the Gas Light restaurant in Portsmouth in 2006. He was subsequently convicted on a charge of disorderly conduct, and ordered to stay away from the victim and avoid the restaurant for two years.

(c)2012 the Foster’s Daily Democrat (Dover, N.H.)

Distributed by MCT Information Services

 

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/04/24/news/nh-police-in-phone-call-to-friend-mutrie-admitted-shooting-officers-in-greenland-tragedy/ printed on December 27, 2014