Murder witness sought on violation

NASHUA – A Superior Court judge last week ordered the issuance of an arrest warrant for Michael Rivera, a key witness in last year’s second-degree murder trial of his ex-fiancee Katlyn Marin, after Rivera failed to appear in court for a hearing.

Attorney Paul Borchardt, a public defender who has been representing Rivera, told Judge Amy Ignatius on Thursday that his client’s whereabouts were unknown to him, as well as to Rivera’s probation officer.

Rivera had been scheduled for a 9 a.m. hearing Thursday in Hillsborough County Superior Court South to address allegations he violated his probation.

Ignatius made the order for the bench warrant after a brief bench conference with Borchardt.

Rivera, 33, formerly of Elmwood Drive in Hudson, has had a rather unusual and complicated relationship with law enforcement officials. He initially worked as a confidential informant for Nashua police, and then, around the time of Marin’s trial, he was put in jail in another county to be held as a material witness.

Officials indicated at the time that Rivera’s incarceration was prompted by concerns that he may flee the area, endanger his life with drugs or be harmed by others before he was called to testify at Marin’s trial.

He would be released from jail on Aug. 18 after the fourth day of Marin’s trial when Judge Charles Temple granted a motion filed by Borchardt.

Rivera was on the stand for much of that day, during which Marin’s attorneys, Justin Shepherd and Paul Garrity, played several hours’ worth of video recordings depicting Rivera’s interviews with police detectives.

The first interview began the evening of Nov. 25, 2014, several hours after Marin’s 3-year-old daughter, Brielle E. Gage, died at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center of multiple injuries later ruled consistent with child abuse.

But it was during the second interview, which started around 2 a.m. Nov. 26, that Rivera provided information that proved the most emotional and difficult to hear.

Included was Rivera’s demonstration at the request of police to re-create what he said he saw happen to Brielle at the hands of Marin in the hours before the toddler was rushed to the hospital.

Marin, who had opted for a bench trial rather than a trial by jury, was ultimately found guilty by Temple of second-degree murder. She was sentenced in December to 45 years to life in state prison.

Shepherd in January appealed the verdict to the state Supreme Court, where a ruling remains pending.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-1256, or @Telegraph_DeanS.