A New Jersey man faces multiple charges in the monstrous slaying of two men at a hotel in Bedford, New Hampshire after what might give Jack Ciattarelli, the Republican nominee for New Jersey Governor, a Willie Horton moment.
Authorities didn’t say what they suspect motivated the accused killer, Theodore Luckey, a 42-year-old ex-con and sex offender from New Jersey, who has been charged with two counts of second degree murder plus three counts of being a felon in possession of a deadly weapon.
The Asbury Park ex-con charged who is charged with the New Hampshire double homicide was released from prison in New Jersey on May 7, 2021 on orders from Governor Phil Murphy, who signed a law aimed at freeing inmates who during the pandemic.
Senator Michael Testa cited ‘the insanity’ of Murphy’s early release of thousands of dangerous criminals who could have contracted COVID-19 if they stayed in prison after murder charges were filed against Jerry D. Crawford for a crime he allegedly committed just two days after his release from South Woods State Prison.
Attorney General John M. Formella, State Police Colonel Nathan Noyes and Bedford Police Chief John J. Bryfonski said that Theodore L. Luckey, age 42, of Asbury Park, New Jersey, was arrested on second degree murder charges for killing two adult men.
Luckey was also charged with three counts of being a felon in possession of a deadly weapon after the Bedford Police Department responded to multiple 911 calls just after 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 21, 2021.
Upon arriving at the Country Inn and Suites, , to 250 South River Road, Bedford, New Hampshire, two men were found dead, one in the lobby and a second in a hotel room.
Ciattarelli has already criticized “Murphy’s anti-police agenda and the soaring crime in New Jersey” through a digital advertisement.
“As disappointment, shock, and crime boil over in New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy is taking cover in his 23-room mansion in Italy this week,” said Ciattarelli. “New Jersey needs a leader that doesn’t break down in times of crisis. Come November 2, the people of this state will pick a governor who puts them first while working alongside our brave law enforcement officers to keep our communities safe.”
Autopsies were completed on Cashman and Hanford but only limited information was released in order to protect the integrity of the investigation.
Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Mitchell Weinberg conducted autopsies on the victims and determined that Cashman’s cause of death was homicide by multiple chop wounds of the head, neck and body.
The Medical Examiner concluded that Hanford’s cause of death was ligature strangulation and also a homicide.
Luckey has been arrested for these murders and is currently being held at the Hillsborough County House of Corrections on preventative detention.
“While the victims may not be as racially divisive as the white woman and man in the Willie Horton case, killers that Murphy released from prison who have gained a spotlight could prove to be more sympathetic among cosmopolitan voters,” said Democratic strategist James Devine. “In important ways, America has become a less bigoted country but Murphy’s killers victimized a Black teenager and two men—one white and one black—who have had some trouble with the law.”
“In situation Jack Ciattarelli is no equivalent to Jesse Helms or Donald Trump, and he can make the case that Murphy’s policies recklessly endanger everyone,” said Devine. “It is like having the Willie Horton impact without the harsh reaction to an appeal to racism. New Jersey Republicans can argue that the governor is a Wall Street millionaire who is out of touch because, that is a fairly accurate description.”
Luckey was arrested and charged on two counts of second-degree murder and three counts of being a felon in possession of a deadly weapon, according to the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office.
Nathan Cashman, a 28-year-old from Manchester, New Hampshire, was found hacked to death after being left to bleed out in a New Hampshire hotel lobby.
A second victim, David Hanford, 60, of Seaside Heights, NJ, was also discovered dead, after being suffocated in a room at the Country Inn and Suites in Bedford, N.H.
Reports indicate that Luckey was friends with both of his victims, one of whom—Hanford—was a convicted sex offender in New Jersey, and the other—Cashman— had recently been in prison.
A spokeswoman for the attorney general would not identify the deadly weapon.
Just after 7 p.m. Saturday, Bedford police responded to the Country Inn and Suites at 250 South River Road after receiving multiple 911 calls.
The attorney general said the incident “appears to be contained” and all individuals have been identified, according to a news release. “At this time, there is no reason to believe that there is a threat to the public.”
Autopsies are scheduled to be performed on the two victims, who were not identified by Sunday evening.
Authorities remained at the hotel well into Sunday; the entrance was blocked with yellow crime scene tape and vehicles were not permitted to enter. Investigators continued to arrive at the scene Sunday afternoon.
Late Sunday morning about a dozen people who had checked in to the hotel waited to get their belongings, which police brought out to the parking lot for them. Each person was interviewed before they left. It is unknown how many people were staying in the hotel Saturday night.
Crystal Milom and Jonathan Cunningham of the Bronx borough of New York City said they checked into the hotel Saturday and went to KFC for a bite to eat. When they returned, police told them no one could enter the property.
“We came back three hours later and they were still on lockdown,” said Milom, who was in town visiting family for the weekend. The couple ended up checking into a nearby Best Western around midnight with only the clothes on their backs.
Several guests waiting to get their possessions said they were in town attending weddings in both Bedford and Sutton.
Jordyn Beaudreau from Rhode Island and her boyfriend checked into the hotel around 3 p.m. and were at dinner when the killings took place. They returned to find the hotel closed at 9 p.m.
“We were trying to figure out what was going on,” she said. “They wouldn’t let us into the building, which was fair and understandable.”
The two made their own accommodations at Fairfield Inn near the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.
“Right now, we are more concerned about trying to figure out refunds and stuff,” Beaudreau said. “We were scheduled to stay here for three nights.”
The New Hampshire State Police Major Crime Unit vehicle sat in front of the hotel, which is atop a hill off River Road. Emergency vehicles, including Bedford Police Department’s Incident Command truck, lined the driveway.
Officer Timothy Hayden of the Bedford Police Department was on patrol and guarding the blocked entrance on Sunday morning. He said he could not comment on the case.
Milom and Cunningham were questioned by police before they got their bags and headed back to New York City.
“My brother has a house in the woods. We said, ‘Let’s get away from the New York scene,’” Milom said. “I guess we brought New York with us.”
Luckey admitted having a child under ten years of age perform oral sex upon him.
The state’s expert in that case, Dr. Mark Frank, a consultant at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center, located in Avenel, testified that Luckey acknowledged he induced his seven-year old victim to commit fellatio more than once and, during the Avenel evaluation, told him “that even after the first incident he felt guilty and ashamed about what he had done after he put his penis into the child’s mouth.”
Luckey claimed he was beaten up in the military because he is homosexual.
Luckey was charged in a three-count indictment with aggravated sexual assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2a(1); sexual assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2b; and endangering the welfare of a minor, N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4a. On May 30, 2001, he entered a guilty plea to count two of the indictment, which alleged second-degree sexual assault. In exchange, the State recommended that counts one and three of the indictment be dismissed and that defendant receive a “flat” “five year prison term.” It was further agreed that the No Early Release Act did not apply, See footnote 1 but that Megan’s Law was applicable.
The administration said the early releases were the only way to protect prisoners from dangerous outbreaks but Testa said that Murphy showed no such concern for the vulnerable nursing homes residents when he ordered facilities to accept sick patients from hospitals.
“While Governor Murphy was jamming nursing homes with sick COVID patients, he was emptying jails to protect prisoners,” Testa said. “It’s a level of insanity and hypocrisy that’s almost beyond belief. Governor Murphy owes New Jersey an apology for the 8,000 nursing home deaths he caused and the criminals he freed who are driving his death toll even higher.”