December 18, 2018
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Former NH police commissioner indicted for alleged role in shooting

Rich Beauchesne | Seacoast Online
Rich Beauchesne | Seacoast Online
Former Portsmouth, N.H., police commissioner Brenna Cavanaugh.

PORTSMOUTH, New Hampshire — Former police commissioner Brenna Cavanaugh was indicted by a grand jury for charges alleging attempted first-degree assault and criminal mischief, both related to an August shooting in Summer Street.

Both indictments allege Cavanaugh acted in concert with her partner, Mark Gray, who was indicted for five charges related to the same shooting incident, the county attorney’s office announced Tuesday.

Police have alleged Gray, 44, of 140 Summer St., fired the shots at a teen who entered Gray’s home at 3:30 a.m. on Aug. 18, mistakenly thinking there was a party there. The shots were fired in the street while the teen was fleeing, police said.

Cavanaugh, 43, of the same address, previously said in a statement that the teen was driving toward her and Gray when the shots were fired.

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One of the indictments against Cavanaugh alleges she acted “in concert with or aided by” Gray to cause six bullets to be fired in the direction of a person identified by initials and whose birth year is cited in the indictment as 2002, causing more than $1,500 in damage. The second indictment alleges Cavanaugh committed the crime of criminal mischief by acting with Gray to cause the bullets to be fired at a vehicle and caused damage in excess of $1,500 to a vehicle.

The new indictments against Gray allege he placed or may have placed someone in danger of serious bodily injury by discharging six bullets from a pistol at an occupied vehicle. A second indictment alleges he committed attempted first-degree assault by firing six bullets at the person’s direction. Two reckless conduct indictments allege Gray fired bullets at a moving vehicle as it traveled along Summer Street and the criminal threatening indictment alleges Gray placed the unnamed person in fear of bodily injury by aiming and firing his firearm at the person.

Rockingham County Attorney Pat Conway said all of the indictments, against Cavanaugh and Gray, are felonies. The indictments mean a grand jury found enough information to take the cases to trial and are not findings of guilt.

[Man accused of firing gun at teen pleads not guilty]

Gray previously turned himself in to police on a warrant, is being represented by attorney Alan Cronheim and pleaded not guilty. During a Rockingham County Superior Court hearing earlier this month, Cronheim said Gray feared the unknown intruder when he fired at his truck as it drove toward him. Cronheim said Gray and Cavanaugh both gave interviews to police, during which they expressed their fear of the home intruder early that morning. When they later learned who the person was, a friend of a relative, they were “even more shaken,” he said.

According to a Portsmouth police affidavit, the teen told police he received a text from another teenager who resided at Gray’s home, inviting him to a party. Unaware the party was at another location, he mistakenly went to Gray’s home at 3:30 a.m., parked across the street and went inside through an unlocked door, police allege. There were no lights on and the teen climbed stairs to the third floor when he heard someone say, “Someone’s here” and to get a gun, according to the affidavit.

Police say the teenager ran from the home and was followed by Cavanaugh, then Gray who shot at the front of the truck before it backed up, hit a phone pole, then was driven from the scene.

 


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