Christopher Bazar appears with his public defender Ed Cross via video in the 9th Circuit Court in Nashua for his arraignment Monday, December 5, 2011.
Hudson shooting victim and alleged killer were best friends, victim’s father says
NASHUA – Donald St. Laurent and Christopher Bazar were best friends who met in New Mexico, where St. Laurent had gone in search of adventure.
It was their friendship that brought Bazar to New Hampshire on what was intended as a short visit but got extended for a few months.
Questions remain as to what caused a tragic end to that friendship Friday night, when Bazar, 27, allegedly killed St. Laurent, 29, in the Hudson home that St. Laurent rented with his mother. In the formal arrest complaint, Bazar’s address also was listed as 72 Windham Road.
St. Laurent died of a gunshot wound to the head, the attorney general’s office said.
Bazar “recklessly caused the death of another by shooting him,” according to the formal arrest complaint.
Bazar was arraigned on a manslaughter charge Monday morning at 9th Circuit Court Nashua District Division. Appearing in a video arraignment from the Nashua Police Department, Bazar didn’t contest the $75,000 cash bail set for him by Judge Michael Ryan. Bazar has been held at the Valley Street jail in Manchester since his arrest.
Assistant Attorney General Peter Hinckley represented the state at the hearing. Bazar was represented by public defender Ed Cross.
About 20 members of St. Laurent’s family, many in tears, attended the arraignment.
His father, whose name also is Donald St. Laurent, spoke briefly with reporters outside the courtroom.
“It’s a tragedy. It’s a tragedy for everybody. Its ripples has 40 people suffering right now,” said Donald St. Laurent, of Grafton, Mass.
St. Laurent said information about the shooting will emerge over months. He said he knows some details that he couldn’t share with reporters but which will become public in time.
Most of the arrest report was sealed at the attorney general’s request.
His son and Bazar had been friends for 10 years, St. Laurent said. They met in Santa Fe, where his son had gone because he was attracted to the northern New Mexico city known for its arts culture and natural setting, St. Laurent said.
“He went out there to get that experience,” he said.
St. Laurent and Bazar both worked for a restaurant in Santa Fe when they met, the victim’s father said.
“They were best friends,” he said. “There’s no doubt about it.”
His son was “adventurous” and loved nature, he said.
Bazar had come to the home the younger St. Laurent rented with his mom to visit for a few days, but had asked to stay longer, the victim’s father said.
Bazar has a criminal record in New Mexico, according to records from Santa Fe County Jail. He was arrested for driving while intoxicated in March 11, 2004, and for aggravated driving while intoxicated on June 1, 2006. He also has been arrested for driving with a revoked or suspended license and for not wearing a seatbelt on June 6. 2004; failure to appear in court on Jan. 24, 2005; failure to comply and obstructing a police officer on Aug. 30, 2010; and failure to comply on Dec. 24, 2010.
In New Hampshire, Bazar worked as a bartender at the Red Robin restaurant in the Pheasant Lane Mall, according to neighbor Todd Whitehouse.
A manager at the restaurant refused to confirm Bazar had worked there and referred a reporter’s questions to the corporate offices.
St. Laurent was born in Reading, Mass., and graduated from Lincoln Sudbury Regional High School in Sudbury. St. Laurent owned a contracting business and had been living in Hudson for about a year and a half, his father said.
St. Laurent spoke calmly but at times through tears.
“You have no idea what somebody’s going through,” he said.
St. Laurent said he had to stay strong and focused to take care of funeral arrangements. His son’s body was scheduled to be released from the state coroner’s office Tuesday , and a funeral home in Burlington, Mass., will be handling arrangements, he said.
St. Laurent said he has been grieving during quiet morning hours when he’s alone.
“You have to be strong,” he said. “A lot of people need you.”
Bazar is scheduled to appear in Nashua’s 9th Circuit Court on Dec. 15 for a probable cause hearing.
Patrick Meighan can be reached at 594-6518 or firstname.lastname@example.org.