Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sunday Globe Special: Explosive Home Invasion in New Hampshire

"Killing could imperil retrial in N.H. gunpowder plant explosion" Associated Press  July 26, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. — The owner of a gunpowder plant convicted in an explosion that left two workers dead could walk free after a key witness was killed in a home invasion.

Craig Sanborn, owner of the Black Mag gunpowder plant that blew up in 2010, is seeking a new trial. If he gets one, the case against him will be weaker — or could disappear.

David Oldham, whose testimony helped land Sanborn behind bars, was shot to death this month. ‘‘It would be tough to go forward without one of the key witnesses,”’ said prosecutor John McCormick.

Oldham was manager of the Colebrook plant when an explosion killed workers Donald Kendall and Jesse Kennett. At trial, Oldham testified about the pressure Sanborn put on workers to step up productivity to meet a large order.

Oldham was found dead this month at his home in Columbia, N.H. His death remains unsolved.

Sanborn was convicted of manslaughter and negligent homicide and sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison in November 2013. During arugments in June for an appeal, several state Supreme Court justices seemed to latch onto his lawyer’s argument that that there were too many potential causes of the explosion to single out Sanborn.