Charlestown suspect on home confinement until trial for alleged fatal assault over backpack

  • Standing with his attorney Richard Guerriero, Marcel Boucher, of Charlestown, N.H., listens to Sullivan County Attorney Marc Hathaway read the conditions of Boucher's release during his arraignment in Sullivan County Superior Court in Newport, N.H., on Feb. 15, 2023. Boucher allegedly assaulted Christopher Conant in Charlestown in Nov. 2021 -- Conant died 21 days later from his injuries. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to Valley news — Geoff Hansen

  • Chris Conant in an undated photograph. (Family photograph)

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 2/15/2023 8:17:29 PM
Modified: 2/15/2023 8:16:42 PM

NEWPORT — A 42-year-old Charlestown man charged with assaulting another man who later died from his apparent injuries must remain confined at home and wear a monitoring bracelet while on bail, a Sullivan County judge ordered on Wednesday.

Marcel Boucher, of East Street, was indicted in December and accused of causing “serious bodily injury” to Christopher Conant, 53, also of Charlestown, when Boucher allegedly struck Conant and threw him to the ground on Main Street in Charlestown on Nov. 26, according to the indictment.

The circumstances that led to the alleged assault remain unclear, although police have said Boucher was angry at Conant for over a stolen backpack.

Conant spent 21 days in intensive and palliative care at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center before dying on Dec. 16.

During Boucher’s arraignment and bail hearing on Wednesday, the prosecutor and Boucher’s defense attorney presented a negotiated bail agreement to Sullivan Superior Court Judge Martin Honigberg, who quickly approved it and ordered the parties back in court for a “dispositional conference” on May 11.

During the six-minute hearing, which was attended by two Conant family members and Boucher’s wife, Sullivan County Attorney Marc Hathaway called the purpose of Wednesday’s hearing “straightforward” and recited briefly the facts of the alleged assault in case as the state knew them.

“Mr. Conant was sitting on a bench. Mr. Boucher approached him (to recover property and after he) recovered the property, struck Mr Conant three times, pushed him to the ground and left,” Hathaway told the court.

“As a result of that contact, (Conant) suffered a brain bleed or other injuries and he subsequently” died, Hathaway said, adding that the parties are still “waiting for the results of the medical examiner’s report” before a conclusive determination can be made about the cause of the victim’s death and if that will amend the charges brought against Boucher.

Conant, a lifetime resident of Charlestown whose personal troubles with alcohol were well-known among town officials and residents, had suffered severe, disfiguring burns in a house fire five years earlier and largely survived on disability payments and with support from family members.

Prosecutors opted for a “direct indictment” against Boucher, with a grand jury charging Boucher with first-degree assault, a Class A felony carrying a sentence of 7½ to 15 years in state prison if found guilty. Although first-degree assault sounds like a lesser charge than negligent homicide, a Class B felony, a Class A felony carries a longer potential prison sentence.

“The defendant has been completely cooperative to counsel throughout this process and has no prior record,” Hathaway told the court, calling the terms that severely restrict Boucher’s movement “appropriate conditions of bail.”

Under the bail conditions, Boucher waived his right to fight extradition, must remain at home and is allowed to leave only for medical and legal appointments and court appearances, except for a specified time in the morning to transport a daughter to school. Boucher also had to surrender his passport and is ordered to have no contact with members of the Conant family.

Boucher was also ordered to be fitted with an location-monitoring ankle bracelet and is required to check in daily with Sullivan County Pretrial Services Program, based in Unity.

Richard Guerriero, Boucher’s attorney, said his client has been cooperating with authorities.

“Mr. Boucher entered a not guilty plea to the current indictment. The case is still under investigation. We will continue our respectful cooperation to work towards a resolution,” Guerriero said.

Contact John Lippman at

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