Man arrested with teacher faces charges in armed robbery
The man recently arrested alongside a Concord elementary school teacher for drug possession has now been charged with an armed robbery the police say was carried out as retribution for insulting his white supremacist gang.
Matthew Peters, 22, has been accused of stealing OxyContin and heroin during the Feb. 1 incident. Another man charged in connection to the case, 25-year-old Daniel Boothby, struck the victim in the head with a handgun, knocking out four of his teeth, according to a police affidavit. A third person, 37-year-old Margo McNair, was originally believed to be a victim of the robbery but last week was charged with aiding the two men by setting up the victim.
Peggy Sinclair, the 49-year-old Broken Ground School teacher who court documents show was living with Peters when the two were arrested in April, was at Concord’s district court for his arraignment yesterday. As a prosecutor asked that Peters be held on $100,000 cash bail, a request the judge granted, Sinclair shook her head.
The teacher, who was placed on a paid administrative leave following her arrest, is expected back in court Monday to be arraigned on a charge of possession of prescription drugs without a prescription.
The police say the armed robbery Peters and Boothby are accused of coordinating took place shortly after the 35-year-old victim insulted their gang. According to an affidavit in the case, Peters is a “street captain” of the Brothers of White Warriors and Boothby is a senior leader, known as a “council member.” BOWW was formed and primarily operates within Concord’s state prison, according to the affidavit.
The police believe that since October 2012 Boothby and Peters have been coordinating all of the gang’s activities outside the prison.
The man who was robbed told officers that about two weeks before the attack he and Peters had been in an argument after his teenage daughter witnessed Peters brazenly selling a large quantity of marijuana. The man said his daughter was upset by what she saw so he decided to confront Peters, where the two “kind of got into it,” according to the affidavit. The man also said he once referred to BOWW as the “Brotherhood of Wonder Woman,” an insult he believes was relayed to Peters, according to the police.
The robbery took place about 10 p.m. Feb. 1 while the man was stopped at an intersection on Redington Road, according to the affidavit. The police said two men in ski masks and armed with handguns entered the car. McNair was driving the vehicle at the time, and a man the police say was later identified as Peters held a gun to her head and forced her into the back seat, according to the affidavit.
The other individual, believed to be Boothby, threatened to shoot the man in the face and struck him with his gun several times, knocking out four of his teeth, according to the affidavit. The man told the police that the two masked intruders kept yelling, “Where’s the stuff?” He believed they were talking about the heroin, estimated at between $5,000 and $10,000 in street value, that he and McNair had just bought in Massachusetts, according to the affidavit.
He told the police that the masked individual now behind the steering wheel began driving as the other ordered him into the back seat. At one point, the man saw a moment to flee, jumped out of the vehicle and began running toward the nearest houses.
He heard what sounded like a gunshot, then heard one of the men yell, “We gotta go,” according to the affidavit. He reached a house and had the residents call 911, the police said.
While the man originally believed McNair was also a victim of the attack, he told the police that he later became suspicious that she had helped plan the robbery because she hadn’t been injured and had been sending text messages for much of their drive back from Massachusetts. The man also said the doors to the vehicle should have been locked, and he believed McNair had unlocked them to facilitate the robbery.
The police say McNair later admitted to helping plan the crime.
Inside the car
Peters was arraigned by video feed from the state prison, where he said yesterday that he is being held on a parole violation. He’s been incarcerated there since April, after he and Sinclair were arrested while driving on Route 106 in Loudon.
According to an affidavit in that case, the two were pulled over for illegal passing, but an officer quickly noted the smell of marijuana coming from the car. When he told Sinclair and Peters that he smelled marijuana, both quickly responded, “No you don’t,” according to the officer’s affidavit.
He asked them if he could search the vehicle, and when they did not comply the officer decided to seize the car and obtain a search warrant.
According to the police, several kinds of drugs were found inside the car, including a partially burnt marijuana cigarette, a plastic bag containing a white powder and rock substance believed to be cocaine, a plastic bag containing a large amount of marijuana and 30 bupropion pills in a women’s handbag.
Sinclair was charged with possession of a prescription drug without a prescription, the charge she’ll be arraigned for Monday. The police said the cocaine and bag of marijuana were in a backpack that also contained Peters’s identification card. He was in turn charged with two counts of possession of a controlled drug with the intent to distribute and possession of a controlled drug.
But the case against Peters was dismissed late last month. According to court documents, the state “had no witness” at his probable cause hearing, where a judge typically hears testimony on a case and decides if there is enough evidence for it to go before a grand jury.
The court documents don’t make clear why the state didn’t present any witnesses, and messages left yesterday for a state police prosecutor and Peters’s lawyer were not returned. Though probable cause was not found, the Merrimack County attorney’s office could still indict Peters through a grand jury.
Requesting a high cash bail yesterday, the prosecutor mentioned that case but also said Peters is currently facing charges in Massachusetts for threatening homicide on a police officer. The prosecutor said Peters’s criminal history includes convictions for witness tampering, second degree assault, possession of a controlled drug, resisting arrest and conspiracy to receive stolen property.
Peters was also involved in the 2009 stabbing of Michael Guglielmo, the ex-con widely known for his attempt to save his son Giovanni through bone marrow drives. The police have said Peters stabbed Guglielmo multiple times, but he never faced charges.
Yesterday, Peters reminded Judge Gerard Boyle that the recent drug case was dismissed. Talking loudly so his voice boomed through the courtroom speakers, he attempted to clarify his criminal record and told the judge he isn’t a flight risk.
“Your honor, I have never ran from a case,” he said. “I have never ever been a flight risk. And I have only been convicted of two, no, the three Class B felonies that he said. Other than that it was misdemeanors, a couple of misdemeanors.”
He said the prosecutor’s bail request was unreasonable.
“It’s not something I can not make. Why even have bail set at all? It might as well be a million dollars,” he said.
During the hearing, Boyle asked if anyone in the courtroom wanted to comment on Peters’s bail; Sinclair did not. After the hearing, she declined to comment when approached by a Monitor reporter.
“I’m not talking to you guys,” she said. “You already ruined my life once.”
BOWW was formed in 2005 within the walls of Concord’s state prison with the goal of protecting white inmates from “perceived exploitation by established gang members,” according to the police affidavit. The group, which employes Nazi symbolism including swastikas, quickly became a major source of violence within the institution, the police said.
According to the affidavit, Peters’s and Boothby’s recent duties, including recruiting new members, have been “part of a larger long-term plan to build a profitable criminal enterprise outside of the prison walls.”
In connection to the February incident, Peters has been charged with armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, being a felon in possession of a dangerous weapon and criminal liability for the conduct of another.
Boothby and McNair were both arrested on warrants last week.
Boothby is being held on $140,000 cash bail and has been charged with armed robbery, first degree assault, second degree assault, criminal threatening with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, being a felon in possession of a dangerous weapon and criminal restraint.
McNair was charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery and falsifying physical evidence, and released on $50,000 personal recognizance bail. She will be arraigned July 1.
Shortly after the February incident, both McNair and the man the police now believe is the sole victim of the attack were charged with drug possession. His case is ongoing at Merrimack County Superior Court.
In April, under a negotiated deal, McNair pled guilty to one count of controlling a vehicle where drugs are illegally kept and was fined $434 to be paid off through community service. Another $850 fine was suspended pending one year of good behavior.
(Tricia L. Nadolny can be reached at 369-3306 or firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @tricia_nadolny.)