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Man linked to Concord homeless man’s death under investigation

Paul Tinkham with his daughter, Jolyn Tinkham, 19.
Courtesy photo.

Paul Tinkham with his daughter, Jolyn Tinkham, 19. Courtesy photo.

Shortly before he died Aug. 10 from severe head injuries suffered at a Concord homeless camp, Paul Tinkham told the police he’d been beaten in the head by 26-year-old Sean Ladd, another homeless man, according to a court record.

No one has been charged with assaulting Tinkham, 52, whose injuries and death remain under investigation, said prosecutor Wayne Coull of the Merrimack County Attorney’s Office. And the authorities have not said whether they believe Tinkham injured himself by falling, as some residents of the homeless camp have said, or was beaten.

But Ladd is under investigation for assault, according to court records and state police Sgt. Fred Lulka.

Ladd was arrested Aug. 6, the night Tinkham was badly injured, and charged with disorderly conduct for repeatedly disobeying a police officer’s orders to stay away from the scene, according to a state police court filing. Ladd tried several times to get around an officer standing at the entrance to the camp, which was off Fort Eddy Road, saying he needed to get his personal belongings from the site, according to the filing.

That court filing also contains additional information about the police investigation into Tinkham’s injuries.

It says that when Concord police Officer Craig Levesque went to Concord Hospital to talk with Tinkham, Levesque was told that Tinkham might not survive his severe head injuries. Once Levesque learned that Tinkham was going to be flown to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center for treatment, Levesque asked Tinkham if he could tell him what had happened, according to the court filing.

“Tinkham told (Levesque) that he was hit in the head by Sean Ladd,” according to the filing. Tinkham died four days later.

Ladd was not charged in connection with Tinkham’s injuries, but records in his court file indicate that he was being investigated for first-degree assault in the days before Tinkham died. Lulka, whose state police troop has been investigating the incident, also confirmed yesterday that Ladd has been under investigation, for assault since the night Tinkham was injured.

Lulka referred additional questions to the Merrimack County Attorney’s Office, which prosecutes felonies, including first-degree assault. Coull confirmed that the “whole matter” remains under investigation but declined to comment specifically on Ladd’s case. He also declined to say how Tinkham’s death four days after his injuries has affected the investigation, but he did say he’s been in contact with the state attorney general’s office, which prosecutes homicides.

Ladd is free on personal recognizance bail, according to the court record. His bail conditions require that he live with his grandparents in Warner and have no contact with his girlfriend, Anna Heine, 31, who was living in the homeless camp and was also arrested the night Tinkham was injured.

Heine is charged with simple assault and resisting arrest. According to the police complaints filed against her, Heine became agitated when she and Ladd were separated by the police at the camp as they investigated Tinkham’s injuries the night he was hurt. When Heine learned Ladd had been arrested for disorderly conduct, Heine tried to run toward him, hitting an officer in the head in the process, according to the complaint. She also struggled with officers who were trying to detain her, the complaints said.

Heine is being held on $500 cash bail. She was charged on a warrant for failing to appear in court on a prior driving under the influence charge, according to court records.

Ladd could not be reached yesterday.

Tinkham’s daughters have told the Monitor previously that their father told them before he died that he’d been attacked and had named his assailant. Reached yesterday, they declined to comment, saying they didn’t want to jeopardize the police investigation.

(Annmarie Timmins can be reached at 369-3323,
atimmins@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @annmarietimmins.)

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