MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) – The Manchester man who helped police investigate a double murder last month is being evicted from his government subsidized apartment.

Victor Dean recently received a letter from the Manchester Housing and Redevelopment Authority, notifying him that his Housing Choice Voucher Assistance subsidy has been terminated because he said in a newspaper story last month that there had been illegal drugs in his apartment.

Dean has requested a hearing to plead his case, but said even if he wins that appeal, he’s learned his landlord plans to evict him.

In an April 27 story in the New Hampshire Sunday News, Dean described how murder victims Chris Squeglia and Amy Knott were at his apartment partying hours before they were found shot to death in a Manchester parking lot.

Dean told the newspaper he had met Squeglia a few weeks earlier. He said Squeglia began bringing friends, drugs and women to his apartment even though Dean had posted a written notice that he could not have drugs in the apartment because of his subsidy.

When he heard of the murders, Dean said he went to police. Over the following week, he said, he helped police by calling other potential witnesses over to his apartment, where detectives interviewed them.

Since the newspaper story appeared, Dean said he has been hassled on the street for being a “rat” and a “snitch.” And then he said he learned his landlord plans to evict him, even if he wins his housing appeal.

“As far as doing what I did, it had to be done, regardless of how I feel now,” Dean said Friday. “Like I said, doing the right thing even when it hurts is right. But I’m hurting now. When I shouldn’t have to be.”

The Housing Authority letter refers to the Sunday News story, citing several instances where Dean admitted there had been drugs in his house when Squeglia and his friends were there, including a reference to Dean using drugs one time himself.

Elliott Berry of New Hampshire Legal Assistance will represent Dean at the hearing.

“I certainly will do everything I can to convince the housing authority that, taking all the circumstances into account, they should maintain him in the Section 8 program, recognizing the tremendous public service he provided and very much at tremendous risk to himself,” Berry said Friday.

Dick Dunfey, executive director of the MHRA, said Dean will have the chance to present evidence, “including any evidence of rehabilitation or any other types of evidence that might indicate there’s not an ongoing situation with drug and/or alcohol abuse.”

Detective Sgt. James Soucy said Dean was helpful, but that the newspaper story overstated his role.

“I’m not going to tell you his information was earth-shattering. The way the paper made it out, it seemed like this guy was the giant tipster in the case. That was very far from the case. He was not. He was a person who provided some information,” Soucy said.

Soucy said police are willing to help Dean with his housing problem: “Certainly we would do whatever it took to let the proper people know that he provided assistance in the case.”

Regardless of the outcome of the MHRA hearing, Dean will have to move.

Keith Bergeron, a partner in Stone Bridge Properties, which owns the apartment building, said Dean cannot stay past June 30th.

“People in the building don’t feel safe. It’s either Victor goes or the other five tenants go,” he said.

Bergeron said he has mixed feelings about Dean’s plight.

“Yes, he helped the police turn in those people, but I mean, they shouldn’t have been in his apartment in the first place,” he said.

AP-ES-05-25-03 1605EDT



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