Pittsburg shooter held without bail while a family mourns
|The family of victim Justin Flanders speak to the press after Monday’s arraignment for alleged
murderer Kenneth Arsenault. Jonathan Benton. (click for larger version)|
November 10, 2010LANCASTER — Monday's arraignment for the Pittsburg man charged with first degree murder, Kenneth Arsenault, was short and to the point with no bail asked nor given while the family and friends of deceased victim Justin Flanders looked on.
"He wasn't perfect and no kid is so if anybody out there is passing judgment on my baby they are wrong," said Justin's mother Alberta Flanders.
Around 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 2 victims Tanya Rancloes, 30 of Colebrook, and Jessie Parker, 25 of Littleton, arrived at the Lake Francis Country Store with gun shot wounds. Pittsburg Police Chief Richard Lapoint was already at the store at the time and the victims implicated Mr. Arsenault as the shooter. The Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital initially took in the victims. Mr. Parker was transported by ambulance and Ms. Rancloes by helicopter due to her critical status. Later Mr. Parker was transported to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Ms. Rancloes to Central Maine Medical where they are each currently listed in stable condition.
Chief Lapoint went to Mr. Arsenault's residence only to find a vehicle in the driveway on fire with a dead body inside. Days later the deceased was identified as Justin Flanders, 21, of Stewartstown. According to the autopsy report Mr. Flanders died from gun shot wounds and severe burns. An all points bulletin was issued for Mr. Arsenault and the nearby Pittsburg school went into lock down which also curtailed that day's voting.
According to Justin's father. Jeff Flanders, for most of the past week the family was only able to guess at the identity of the deceased victim.
"Now that we know we are just going to move forward, we're going to take care of our son and take it one day at time," said Mr. Flanders.
The family said that what they missed most about Justin was his laughter, his goofiness and his big heart. Also him coming into the house saying "hey beautiful," said Mrs. Flanders.
Both parents did note their current disapproval for N.H. laws concerning victim's rights and plan to take it up with the state legislature. "And we don't feel this way just because of our son, but for all victims out there this should be changed, said Mr. Flanders. "Now the way the laws read the criminals actually have more rights."
According to Senior Assistant Attorney General Susan Morrell, Mr. Arsenault told police that he had invited Ms. Rancloes to his residence and enticed her with the possible sale of Suboxone, a detoxification drug used to help addicts. While Ms. Rancloes traveled from Colebrook to Pittsburg with Mr. Parker and Mr. Flanders, Mr. Arsenault told police that he prepared for her arrival by grabbing his single shot 20 gauge shotgun from his kitchen along with three slugs and a buckshot. What happened next is still a matter of speculation as affidavit's for both cases are currently sealed.
What is known is that Ms. Rancloes and Mr. Parker were able to escape to Back Lake Road where they were picked up by good Samaritans and driven to the Lake Francis Country store to alert authorities. Mr. Arsenault has also been charged with two counts of attempted murder. Mr. Arsenault was later spotted at the house of Dan Shallow where he surrendered to police. Mr. Shallow wasn't home at the time, but noted that he has employed and trusted Mr. Arsenault for over 10 years. Mr. Arsenault worked doing odd jobs and painting, sometimes wearing his painter's mask around town noted Shallow.
Mr. Arsenault has probable cause hearings for the multiple charges on Nov. 18 at the Lancaster District Court.
This Saturday there will be a memorial service for Justin Flanders at the Trinity Methodist
Church in Colebrook at 1:30 p.m. According to his family it will be celebration of his life where
people can reminisce about Justin's life. There will also be a potluck dinner afterwards.