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Two facing murder charge in 2010 prison beating

William Edic

William Edic

More than a year after county prosecutors dropped cases against two people accused of brutally beating a fellow inmate at the state prison, both men are now facing murder charges.

William Edic, 31, was charged yesterday with second-degree murder, one week after the New Hampshire attorney general’s office filed an identical count against 30-year-old Thomas Milton.

Both men have previously been indicted in connection to the July 2010 attack on 44-year-old Anthony Renzzulla, who officials say died from his injures after 16 months on life support.

Those first charges – for attempted murder – were dropped about six months after Renzzulla died, but officials wouldn’t say at the time whether the decision was made because harsher charges were warranted. Last week, Assistant Attorney General Peter Hinckley declined to comment on why murder charges weren’t filed then or what new information officials have obtained that allows them to go forward with the cases now.

Edic, who will be arraigned today at Concord’s district court by video feed from the state prison, is still serving the sentences he was incarcerated for at the time of Renzzulla’s beating: separate terms for unlawful interference with a fire alarm and criminal mischief. He has been eligible for parole on one of the charges and was set to max out his sentence on the other next month, according to a Department of Corrections official.

Milton had been released since the attack and was living in Florida when he was arrested last week. He’s now facing extradition to New Hampshire.

At the time of the assault, he was serving a 2- to 5-year sentence for arson. Milton finished that sentence in May 2011 but was arraigned the same day of his release on the attempted murder and assault charges stemming from Renzzulla’s death.

He was released when those charges were dropped in May 2012.

Both men are also now facing charges of falsifying physical evidence and hindering prosecution, because officials believe they tried to cover up the crime by cleaning evidence at the scene, Hinckley said.

Last week Renzzulla’s mother, Theresa Gilman, said she always expected the men to be held accountable despite the setbacks in the case.

“Somebody’s got to pay for what happened to my son. . . . It was a long 16 months that he was on life support, and that was no joke for me either,” said Gilman, who lives in Brentwood.

A third inmate, Randall Chapman, pleaded guilty in April 2012 to falsifying physical evidence after the police said he cleaned up blood after Renzzulla was attacked. He was sentenced to serve between 1 and 5 years in state prison and was released on parole in October 2012, according a Department of Corrections official.

Renzzulla was serving 3 to 6 years for forgery and drug possession at the time of the beating, as well as a 3- to 7-year sentence for identity fraud, according to prison officials. His sentence would have maxed out this year.

(Tricia L. Nadolny can be reached at 369-3306 or or on Twitter @tricia_nadolny.)

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