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Man indicted in November carjacking incident that led to January death

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 9/15/2020 9:44:17 PM
Modified: 9/15/2020 9:44:11 PM

NORTH HAVERHILL — A 22-year-old Lebanon man has been charged with manslaughter and negligent homicide after he allegedly punched a 79-year-old man, who later died, during a carjacking last year shortly after getting out of jail.

Last week, a Grafton Superior Court grand jury indicted Brenden Harriman, 22, on charges of manslaughter, negligent homicide and theft by unlawful taking in relation to the November 2019 incident, which resulted in the January death of North Haverhill resident David Dickey, according to the indictment.

Police say Dickey was driving near the intersection of Route 10 and Horse Meadow Road on Nov. 4, when he saw Harriman, who had just been released from the Grafton County House of Corrections, walking nearby and offered him a ride, according to an affidavit signed by Haverhill police Detective Derek Sullivan.

Once in the car, Harriman threatened to stab Dickey unless he pulled over in the nearby Walmart parking lot in Woodsville, Sullivan wrote. Dickey pulled over but refused to get out of the car, and Harriman hit him several times in the face until Dickey relented and got out of the vehicle, the affidavit said.

Harriman took the car and left the area before police arrived, according to the affidavit. When officers got to the scene, Dickey, who was bleeding from his face and had blood on his clothes, told them what happened and described Harriman.

Police viewed surveillance footage from the jail, which showed Harriman leaving shortly before the incident, and from Walmart, which showed him getting into the driver’s side of Dickey’s car and heading southbound, according to the affidavit.

Around an hour and a half after the alleged assault, Lebanon police found Dickey’s car in the city and arrested Harriman as he left an apartment he frequented.

He was originally charged with felony counts of robbery and assault, and was ordered held without bail, according to a case summary. He is currently being held at the New Hampshire State Prison in relation to a conspiracy to commit theft conviction out of Sullivan County, according to Sullivan County Attorney Marc Hathaway.

Dickey, who initially declined medical care when officers arrived, went to Cottage Hospital a few hours after the alleged assault, the affidavit said. From there, he was taken by helicopter to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center for his injuries, including fractures in and around his nose, and a myocardial infarction, which “has the same symptoms of a heart attack brought on by emotional stress,” the affidavit said.

Doctors placed Dickey in a medically induced coma and in early January; Dickey died from what a coroner later determined was “Homicide (assault by another person),” according to the affidavit.

Messages to Dickey’s family for comment on the case were not returned Tuesday. An obituary posted shortly after his death noted that Dickey was a veteran who served in the U.S. Army from 1958 to 1961, and that he later worked at a service station in North Haverhill.

Though the coroner’s report was completed in March, Harriman wasn’t indicted until last week, largely because prosecutors needed time to gather and review evidence in the case, Grafton County Attorney Marcie Hornick said.

“There’s so many moving parts, really. You want to make sure you take a look at everything from as many different angles as you can,” she said in an interview Tuesday.

Harriman has multiple prior criminal charges in New Hampshire, including a 2016 case out of Lebanon, when he was arrested after allegedly breaking into cars and stealing items inside. He was also charged with robbery in Claremont for grabbing a woman’s purse while she loaded groceries into her car outside of a supermarket.

He pleaded guilty to charges of theft and conspiracy to commit theft for the Claremont incident and received one year in prison as well as a suspended sentence for the conviction. The suspended sentence was imposed in March 2020, and Harriman is currently serving two to seven years in prison in relation to the Claremont case, Hathaway said.

An arraignment is scheduled for Harriman on Oct. 5 in Grafton Superior Court.

Anna Merriman can be reached at amerriman@vnews.com or 603-727-3216.

Valley News

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