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Nashua;44.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/nskc.png;2014-11-26 03:46:33
Sunday, December 27, 2009

Domestic violence a disturbing trend

Brutal incidents of alleged domestic violence made headlines all year long in 2009.

Of the most notable incidents was the kidnapping and beating of former Nashua Police Chief Clifton “Doug” Largy, allegedly at the hands of his son, Eric Largy, 42.

Eric Largy has been jailed since his April 22 arrest. He is facing two counts of first-degree assault and kidnapping after being charged with tying his father to a barber’s chair for nearly 12 hours and repeatedly hitting him on the head and face.

Eric Largy said he and his father began fighting after his father poked him in the chest while berating him about a truck with a flat tire in the driveway, police reported. Clifton Largy told investigators he was struck on the back of the head with a heavy object after turning his back on his son, and then wrestled into the barber chair.

Eric Largy’s lawyer has petitioned to prevent a county attorney, Joseph Fricano, from prosecuting the case, since he was a Nashua police officer during Clifton Largy’s tenure as chief.

Clifton Largy spent 30 years on the city police department, the last five as chief before retiring in 2000.

Eric Largy is facing 71⁄2 to 15 years in prison for each of the three felony charges.

Hollis resident Gary Marchand, 53, was indicted on a charge of first-degree murder in December after allegedly beating and killing his wife, Phyllis Marchand, in September.

Marchand faces life in prison without chance of parole if convicted of first-degree murder and up to life for second-degree murder.

The indictments allege Marchand kicked, punched and beat his wife, using his hands, feet and blunt and sharp objects. The injuries he inflicted, and leaving her bound and gagged in the bathtub, all combined to kill her, the indictments allege.

The Marchands had separated and had put the home up for sale before Phyllis Marchand was murdered, and domestic violence experts say the case fits a common pattern of escalation upon separation.

Nearly half of all murders in New Hampshire could be characterized as domestic violence, statistics show, and experts warn that victims are never more at risk than during times when they try to break away from an abusive relationship.

Over a 24-hour period in October, police in Londonderry and Manchester responded to separate incidents of alleged domestic violence that ended in murder suicides.

Police said Binh Vernet used blunt force to kill his wife, Suzanne Vernet, inside their home in Londonderry on Oct. 22. Binh Vernet’s body was later found in Massachusetts, making the crime a murder-suicide, police said.

Two children were in the home at the time and weren’t physically injured, police said.

Jonathan Charbonneau shot his wife, Melissa Charbonneau, 29, who had just filed for divorce, as she entered their house to gather belongings, police said. Charbonneau then turned the gun on himself.

– JOSEPH G. COTE