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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Grantham man accused of killing wife with 4 kids nearby

GRANTHAM, N.H. (AP) - The husband of a longtime educator nominated for New Hampshire teacher of the year in 2007 was charged Friday with shooting her to death inside their home with their four children nearby.

Natalie Perriello was shot multiple times Thursday night, the attorney general's office said. Her husband, 41-year-old James Perriello, was arraigned on a second-degree murder charge Friday afternoon in Newport District Court and is being held without bond.

The couple's children weren't physically hurt. The state public defender's office says no one has been assigned to Perriello's case yet.

Natalie Perriello, 42, taught computer science and personal finance at Lebanon High School for the last four years. She also taught for 14 years at Canaan Elementary School. Grief counselors were available at both schools Friday.

While teaching at Canaan Elementary School in 2007, Perriello was one of 23 nominees for New Hampshire teacher of the year.

"Natalie was a beloved teacher here for almost 14 years, and certainly our loss is affecting colleagues and former students," said Assistant School Superintendent Patrick Andrew.

Andrew said many of the teachers were so close to her that they received text messages about her death long before investigators made it official.

Being in the upper valley, Canaan Elementary and Lebanon High Schools were both in session this week because they typically follow the Vermont school calendar. Most New Hampshire schools were on spring break this week.

Lebanon High School Superintendent Gail Paludi released a statement saying, "We are all grieving over the sudden loss of Natalie Perriello."

Paludi said counselors were available throughout the day and would be on hand at the high school from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday to provide additional support.

She said the killing "has shaken our entire school community."

A hearing scheduled for May 8 will determine if there is probable cause to advance the case to trial.