MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) – New Hampshire prosecutors are planning to present evidence in Michael Addison’s upcoming trial that they say proves he purposefully shot Manchester Police Officer Michael Briggs because he feared being caught for a string of crimes committed in the days before.

Prosecutors also revealed during a motions hearing Wednesday that they plan to show Addison would have fired more shots at police if his gun hadn’t jammed. They plan to present testimony from two officers who said they saw the gun jam seconds after he shot Briggs.

Addison’s lawyers, citing a criminalist’s viewpoint, argued the gun likely malfunctioned because it hit the ground.

Addison is charged with capital murder in the shooting death of Briggs in October 2006. Jury selection is scheduled to start Sept. 22. If convicted, Addison could be sentenced to death.

Lawyers met before Hillsborough Superior Court Judge Katherine McGuire to discuss 27 motions filed by both the state and the defense. These motions were primarily to determine what evidence would be heard at trial.

They included whether the state could tell the jury about Addison’s alleged threats to the police and Briggs’ previous interactions with Addison.

The defense asked the judge to bar the prosecution and witnesses from using the word “murder” during testimony and to limit the amount of information the jury hears about crimes Addison committed before the Briggs shooting because both would be prejudicial.

After more than six hours of arguments, McGuire ended the hearing and asked to meet lawyers in her chambers to discuss which questions will be included in a questionnaire given to potential jurors when selection begins.

McGuire did not say when she would issue rulings on the motions.

One of the defense’s motions was to exclude Manchester Det. Richard Brennan from testifying that the gun believed to have been used to shoot Briggs jammed because of user error. Brennan is not a gun expert, the defense argued, and therefore should be prohibited from giving layman opinion on the stand.

The defense also argued in its motion that New Hampshire State Police criminalist Mike Dupre said the gun likely malfunctioned because of hitting the ground.

The defense has presented a theory that Addison threw the gun onto the roof of a building as he was running from police. The gun then fell to the ground and landed in the yard of a home and that the impact from the fall caused the gun to jam.

According to the state, Officer Stephen Reardon could see Addison from behind moving his hands and shoulders like he was trying to cock the gun to shoot again or clear a jam.

Officer Emmet Macken said he saw Addison moments after the shooting turn and point the gun at other officers who had showed up. Macken fired at Addison, who then turned and ran.

“What those statements show is that the defendant meant to shoot again but was unable to because of the gun,” said Senior Assistant Attorney General Will Delker.

Defense lawyers said they do not plan to argue that the shooting was an accident but will call into questions the prosecutions assertion that Addison intended to kill a police officer because he knew he was wanted for a number of serious crimes.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.