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Milford suspect appears in court

Telegraph photo by DEAN SHALHOUP Winstone Muturi, charged with several offenses stemming from an alleged domestic incident in Milford, is escorted into Superior Court in Nashua Tuesday for his bail hearing.

NASHUA – A Superior Court judge denied a Milford man’s request for low bail or personal recognizance release Tuesday, agreeing with a prosecutor’s allegations that Winstone Muturi’s alleged spate of domestic violence indicates he remains a “serious threat” to the alleged victim and two children.

Muturi, 47, appeared before Judge Charles Temple Tuesday afternoon for a bail hearing on a series of domestic violence-related charges, which the prosecutor, Assistant County Attorney Michael Miller, said involved Muturi allegedly “waving a gun around (and) firing a round through the floor” with the alleged victim and two children in close proximity.

The round, Miller told the court, ruptured a gasoline container, causing the gas to leak.

Two of the seven charges against Muturi – one count each of criminal threatening – dangerous weapon and reckless conduct – dangerous weapon – are believed to be felony-level offenses.

The others, which are Class A misdemeanors, include two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, and one count each of false imprisonment – domestic violence; simple assault – domestic violence; and obstructing the report of a crime.

“The state’s position is Mr. Muturi represents a credible threat to the (alleged) victim and the children,” Miller, the prosecutor, said in asking Temple that Muturi be held on preventive detention.

Miller said the fact the disturbance allegedly involved a firearm is a main reason he was seeking preventive detention. He also alleged Muturi has “a history of verbal threats” against the alleged victim.

Attorney Kara Simard, who represented Muturi at the hearing, asked Temple for personal recognizance bail, or if he wasn’t inclined to grant that, to set bail at $500 cash.

“Mr. Muturi is a longtime resident of the area,” Simard said. “He has two jobs. He works long shifts and many hours … he supports his family.”

If Muturi was jailed for a substantial amount of time, the loss of income would impact his family significantly, Simard added.

Muturi, who Simard said “has zero criminal history,” is “willing to abide by a no-contact order,” which prosecutors sought, and were granted by the court.

It orders Muturi to have no contact with the alleged victim, said to be a significant other, and the two children.

Simard said Muturi’s sister, who was in court Tuesday with her and Muturi’s brother, told the court Muturi could live with her if he was released from custody.

Simard said that although Muturi admitted he “had been drinking” at the time of the alleged incident, “he doesn’t drink very often … just occasionally.”

Muturi also disputes the allegations as presented by the prosecution, Simard said, adding that “we don’t believe the state has met its burden of showing dangerousness.”

But Temple, in ordering preventive detention, said he found “clear and convincing evidence” that Muturi would, if released, present a danger “to yourself and others.”

Temple said if he desires, Muturi can request an evidentiary bail hearing in the case.

Dean Shalhoup may be reached at 594-1256, dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com, or @Telegraph_DeanS.