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First-degree murder charge levied against man accused in Concord stabbing

  • Daswan Jette, 21, of Concord is escorted from the courtroom after being denied bail during a hearing at Merrimack County Superior Court on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. Jette was previously charged with two alternative counts of second-degree murder in the death of Sabrina Galusha. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • Daswan Jette, 21, of Concord is handcuffed after being denied bail during a hearing at Merrimack County Superior Court on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. Jette was previously charged with two alternative counts of second-degree murder in the death of Sabrina Galusha. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • Daswan Jette, 20, of Concord is escorted from Merrimack County Superior Court on Thursday, June 1, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)



Monitor staff
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A man accused of fatally stabbing a Concord resident over a half-ounce of marijuana now faces a charge of first-degree murder.

Daswan Jette, 21, is accused of “knowingly” causing the death of Sabrina Galusha, whom prosecutors say he stabbed with a knife while attempting to steal a bag of marijuana, which had a street value of $90.

Jette was also indicted on an alternative count of second-degree murder, according to indictments available Tuesday in Merrimack County Superior Court. That charge alleges he “recklessly” caused Galusha’s death outside the Penacook Place Apartments at 36 Pinehurst St. in Concord.

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office arrested and charged Jette with alternative counts of second-degree murder in late May. The grand jury handed up the first-degree murder charge Friday.

“Investigation in these cases is an ongoing process, and that sometimes yields a change in the charges presented to the grand jury,” Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffery Strelzin said of the latest development in the case. He declined to comment further.

First-degree murder charges are brought when prosecutors have evidence that the killing was “deliberate and premeditated,” according to state statute.

An indictment is a determination made by a grand jury that prosecutors have enough evidence to take a case to trial.

During a probable cause hearing in June, Concord police Detective Wade Brown said Galusha and three friends drove to the apartment complex on the evening of May 30 to sell Jette marijuana, but the deal didn’t go as planned. Brown said Jette stole the bag of pot, prompting an altercation that led to Galusha’s death.

Galusha and three friends – Sam Chase, Madison Campbell and Anika Tidd – met Jette that night at 8:30. They recounted to police how Jette climbed into the back seat of Tidd’s Chevy Cruze, where he produced a handheld scale and asked that the marijuana be weighed. However, once Galusha let go of the bag, Jette grabbed it and ran, Brown testified.

The chase led Galusha, Chase and Campbell inside a small vestibule about 100 feet away, according to Brown. The friends said Jette produced a knife and threatened to stab them.

A fight ensued in the lobby, but Campbell, Chase and Galusha were ultimately able to escape back to the Chevy Cruze, where Tidd sat waiting in the driver’s seat, Brown said. Galusha, however, was not able to get her door closed before Jette caught up with them, her friends told police.

Prosecutors allege Jette stabbed Galusha in the chest while she tried to fight him off. Strelzin said the chest wound was fatal as the knife penetrated Galusha’s heart.

Jette is being held without bail pending trial.

(Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 369-3319, adandrea@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @_ADandrea.)