AG: Inmate Homicide Caused By Blunt Impact Head, Neck Injuries

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Nancy West photo

James Dale is pictured in 2016 at the Northern New Hampshire Correctional Facility in Berlin with documents he had compiled in one of his appeals.

CONCORD- The inmate who died after being assaulted by another inmate Feb. 13 was the victim of homicide, but the state isn’t releasing the name of the inmate suspected of killing James Dale.

The autopsy was conducted by Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Jennie V. Duval, who determined that the cause of  Dale’s death was blunt impact head and neck injuries, and the manner of death was homicide, according to a press release Monday from Attorney General John Formella.

 Dale, 65, was involved in a resident-on-resident assault at the Northern New Hampshire Correctional Facility in Berlin, and the release said all parties involved in the incident have been identified.

 Officials from the New Hampshire State Police and the Attorney General’s office continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding Dale’s death. Additional information will be released as it becomes available while protecting the integrity of the investigation, the release said.

Dale was convicted of second-degree murder for raping and killing Elizabeth Knapp, 6, in her bed in Contoocook on July 3, 1997, and was sentenced to serve 60 to 120 years in prison.

Dale was adamant that he was innocence and has been fighting to prove it for years.

In a recent phone interview with, Dale said he had received some important information about the DNA in the case that he said would prove his innocence.

Dale had been on the waiting list with the National Innocence Project for a number of years and said he recently received notification from the local New England Innocence Project that they were still reviewing his case.

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