Violence in the home
Closer to home, a disturbing number of criminal cases had domestic violence at their center. While domestic violence is nothing new, it made headlines throughout the year - in one case, a brutal killing of a wife and mother, in another, a decades-long assault on a woman who is now in her 70s. On July 18, according to police reports, Stephen Mann became enraged while his wife was out with a friend. When Kelly Mann came home, she was beaten with a hatchet and shot once in the head. The couple’s three daughters told police a chilling story of how their father killed their mother, ordered them to get in the car with him and then fled after they refused. One of their three daughters later told police her father had a pistol in his pocket when he confronted their mother in their bedroom. Stephen Mann later told police he shot his wife, Kelly Mann, 32, in the head because they weren’t getting along. The Manns’ marriage had shown signs of strain. Kelly Mann had filed for separation earlier in the year, citing her husband’s drug use, but she reconsidered. Police were called to the Manns’ home four days before the murder, but no one was charged. Mann, 32, fled to Canada after the murder, leaving his three daughters home with their slain mother. He was arrested after crashing his car into a ditch along a highway outside Toronto, and returned to Nashua, where he is scheduled to stand trial on a first-degree murder charge next fall. Kelly Mann was 32. Earlier in the year, police say they discovered another tale of abuse. On Feb. 25, Lyndeborough medics found a 74-year-old woman unconscious in her home on Glass Factory Road. She was badly bruised all over, and suffered swelling on the brain. About a week later, police arrested her husband, Peter Gage, 70, on charges of attempted murder, felony assault and sexual assault, witness tampering and criminal restraint. The woman told police her husband became abusive after they were married 40 years ago and never stopped. The couple’s son, Lyman Gage, also was arrested on various abuse charges. Charges against Peter and Lyman Gage remain pending in Hillsborough County Superior Court. Just two days before Peter Gage’s arrest, a Nashua police officer, Scott Anderson, assaulted his estranged wife and threatened several officers who went to his home. Police flushed Anderson out with tear gas after a delicate, six-hour standoff. Anderson lost his job, and later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four months in jail.