AG: Newport Man Who Shot Wife To Death Won’t Be Charged Due to Dementia

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NH Attorney General Gordon MacDonald.

Editor’s note: The following is a news release issued by Attorney General Gordon MacDonald at about 6:15 p.m. May 9. InDepthNH.org has asked the state whether there is any legal precedence in New Hampshire for not seeking to have a competency evaluation on the accused in a homicide case and whether he is in a state-run, locked facility. This story will be updated when the state responds.

Concord, NH – Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald, New Hampshire State Police Colonel Christopher J. Wagner, and Newport Police Chief James C. Burroughs announce that additional information is available regarding the ongoing investigation into the May 7, 2019 homicide of Margaret “Peggy” Clarke in Newport, New Hampshire.

Police involvement in the case began on the afternoon of May 7, 2019, when a 911 caller reported that a female had been shot at 553 Maple Street in Newport. Police responded to the scene and found Ms. Clarke (age 75), a resident of the home, deceased inside the residence. An autopsy later revealed that the cause of Ms. Clarke’s death was a gunshot wound to the chest and the manner of her death was homicide.

The investigation to date has identified that the alleged perpetrator of the shooting is Ms. Clarke’s husband, George [Graham] Clarke (age 77). The accused is suffering from terminal cognitive and physical health issues including dementia and is currently at a medical facility. Under these circumstances and due to concerns regarding Mr. Clarke’s legal competency no criminal charges will be brought at this time.

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