BRENTWOOD, N.H. — Aaron Desjardins, the Epping man who is charged with slashing his ex-wife’s throat and trying to incinerate her body, will be depending on the defense of insanity during his upcoming trial.
Desjardins has been indicted on charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit hindering apprehension.
Police allege Desjardins, 37, kidnapped Amanda “Amy” Warf at gunpoint and drove her from Epping to Exeter before murdering her and attempting to burn the body and other evidence.
According to Senior Assistant Attorney General Susan Morrell, Desjardins recently filed a notice at Rockingham County Superior Court stating his intentions to use the insanity defense. She said criminal defendants have a certain period of time after pleading not guilty when they can submit their paperwork for the defense to the court.
Morrell said there will now be a long discovery and interviewing process. Desjardins will have the choice of whether he wants one verdict based on his new defense or if he would like to bifurcate, or divide the issues of the crimes and his mental state, according to Morrell.
Under New Hampshire law, Desjardins cannot be held responsible for the crimes if his unlawful act was the product of mental disease or defect.
Warf’s body was discovered by firefighters in the abandoned City Concrete Company plant on Hampton Road March 7 when they responded to a morning fire. Officials said the blaze was set intentionally.
State prosecutors allege Desjardins had help committing the crime from his sister, Michele Corson, 33, of Skowhegan, and his new wife, Sarah Desjardins, 34, of Nashua, N.H. Corson allegedly brought the her brother the gun he used to commit the crime after his wife texted her asking for it.
No trial date has been set in this case.
Distributed by MCT Information Services