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Man held on bail for attack, threatening messages

NASHUA – After a member of his household allegedly sent Charles DePrima “threatening text messages,” DePrima told police Wednesday, DePrima said he went to a Milford residence “and hit him with an aluminum rod,” a prosecutor told a Superior Court judge Thursday at DePrima’s bail hearing.

DePrima is alledged to have struck the teen “multiple times” in the legs with the rod, which was later described as the aluminum shaft of a snow broom.

According to the prosecutor, Assistant County Attorney Brett Harpster, DePrima tossed the rod into a dumpster, then returned to work at a local auto parts store.

Police, after interviewing the alleged victim and his mother at their residence, said in their reports they went to the store looking to speak with DePrima, who was out on a delivery at the time.

When he returned, he told the officers what happened, and showed them the text message that angered him. The text, according to Harpster and police reports, referred to DePrima as “a petty (expletive)” and suggested that DePrima “not even bother coming home … you could just do the universe a favor and die in a ditch.”

The teen allegedly sent the text, according to police reports, because he was upset with DePrima for unplugging electronic devices in the residence.

Police arrested DePrima, 48, at the store, and after booking him at Milford police headquarters transported him to Valley Street jail pending Thursday’s court appearance.

He is charged with one count each of second-degree assault – deadly weapon, and falsifying physical evidence, both Class B felonies, and one count of endagering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor.

DePalma entered not guilty pleas to the charges and waived formal arraignment, after which a bail hearing took place.

Harpster, the prosecutor, asked Judge Charles Temple to order DePalma held on preventive detention, calling him a danger to himself and others and citing a criminal history with convictions for mostly domestic violence-related offenses, some of which involve a member of the alleged victim’s family.

“These charges are very serious … (DePrima) is alleged to have struck (the alleged victim) multiple times with a metal rod,” Harpster said.

Attorney Ilana Abramson, a recent addition to the Nashua office of the New Hampshire Public Defender, represented DePrima at Thursday’s hearing, under the supervision of Attorney Amanda Steenhuis, the Nashua office manager.

She asked Temple for personal recognizance bail, pointing out that DePrima’s previous convictions are all on misdemeanor charges, and suggesting Harpster fell short of showing clear evidence that DePrima would pose a danger if released.

Abramson said DePrima would agree to abide by a no-contact order, suggesting he would stay at a shelter for the time being. He would also submit to mental health and anger-management evaluations, she added.

But Temple granted Harpster’s request for preventive detention, based on the judge’s finding that DePrima, if released, would in fact present a danger to himself, the community and especially the alleged victim.

If and when DePrima is released, he is ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim, stay at least 300 feet away from him, and abide by any court-issued protective orders.

DePrima is due back in court on Dec. 18 for a dispositional conference.

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