November 14, 2013

N.H. man charged in racism case shoots self in head

Police say he wrote hateful messages on the homes of four families in the same neighborhood in 2011.

The Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. — The Pembroke man accused of scrawling racist graffiti on the homes of African immigrants in Concord is hospitalized after shooting himself in the head, court records show.

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This booking photo released by the Concord Police Department shows Raymond Stevens, of Pembroke, N.H. Stevens, accused of scrawling racist graffiti on the homes of African immigrants in Concord is hospitalized after shooting himself in the head, court records show.

Raymond Stevens shot himself in the head on Nov. 7, his 43rd birthday, according to records filed Wednesday in Merrimack County Superior Court. He is hospitalized at an undisclosed hospital in Massachusetts. Information on his condition and details of the shooting were unavailable.

Stevens pleaded not guilty on Oct. 15 to felony criminal mischief. Police said he wrote hateful messages on the homes of four families in the same Concord neighborhood in September 2011.

The arrest came after a detective pored over thousands of records including criminal complaints trying to match the handwriting to the distinctive scrawl left on the buildings. Checking through gun permits, the detective found similarities in Stevens’ application, including the letter “b’’ written like a six.

Among the graffiti was “The subhumans in this house are enjoying a free ride” and “Go back to your hell and leave us alone.”

Searches of Stevens’ home, car and the tattoo parlor he owns in Nashua turned up more handwriting samples, and investigators also found racist cartoons and writings on his Facebook pages, police said.

When questioned by police, Stevens denied any involvement.

He had been free on $8,000 bail. Prosecutors had already sought to have his permit to carry a concealed weapon suspended. After the shooting, they asked to revoke bail because Stevens violated bail conditions by carrying a gun. That hearing is on hold until Stevens is out of the hospital.

The Concord Monitor first reported the shooting.

Calls to Stevens’ public defender, Melinda Siranian, and the county prosecutor, David Rotman, were not immediately returned Thursday.

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