Affidavit: Franklin man shot, killed boyfriend before stealing his car

  • James Brock

  • Richard Tripaldi, 2015 courtesy

Monitor staff
Wednesday, November 01, 2017

A Franklin man facing murder charges told his sisters about his desire to kill his boyfriend in order to steal cash, drugs and a vehicle, according to an unsealed affidavit.

Richard Tripaldi II, 26, is accused of fatally shooting 24-year-old James Brock, in late June at an apparent camp site off Flaghole Road, which runs along the edge of Great Gains Memorial Forest in Franklin. Tripaldi told one of his sisters that he had buried Brock’s body beneath a campfire on the site, according to the affidavit.

Tripaldi was arrested in early August after Franklin police located Brock’s body about a quarter mile into the woods between Flaghole and Montgomery roads. A state medical examiner concluded a bullet had entered Brock’s skull, and that he had been dead for about a month.

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office has released limited information about the circumstances surrounding Brock’s death since Tripaldi’s arrest, citing an ongoing investigation. Following a grand jury’s indictment of Tripaldi on first- and second-degree murder charges in September, the Monitor filed a motion to unseal the arrest warrant affidavit and a Merrimack County Superior Court agreed.

In addition to the murder charges, Tripaldi faces a felony count of theft by unauthorized taking. Prosecutors allege he stole Brock’s red 2007 Chevrolet Impala after the murder.

One of his sisters, Mercedes Tripaldi, went to the Franklin Police Department on Aug. 1 to report that her brother had discussed killing Brock weeks earlier, but that she did not take him seriously at the time. She said her younger sister prompted her to go to police after Richard Tripaldi had confessed to her that “he had shot his boyfriend and buried him alive in the woods,” according to the affidavit.

Mercedes Tripaldi encouraged police to check the wooded area off Flaghole Road because her brother once lived there in a tent with Brock, the affidavit says.

Franklin police and New Hampshire State Police later interviewed the younger teenage sister, who said her boyfriend had sold Richard Tripaldi a gun for $200 sometime in June. But a few days after the sale, Tripaldi returned the gun, she told police. “Sometime shortly after that,” the girl continued, she spoke with her brother who told her he had shot Brock in the woods and “buried him beneath a campfire.”

The sister said she didn’t tell anyone about the conversation right away because Tripaldi had threatened her, and she was afraid.

The girl’s boyfriend, Merek Weisense, said he had known Tripaldi for about two or three years, and that the two had fired guns together in the past.

“Tripaldi told him that he needed the gun for protection because people were looking for him because he had stolen money,” the affidavit says.

Weisense told police he sold Tripaldi a 1960s or 1970s .22 caliber Buffalo Scout revolver, and that the gun was fully loaded. When Tripaldi returned the gun a few days later, he said, “it was still loaded except for two empty (spent) shell casings,” according to the affidavit.

Detectives later recovered the gun from another buyer.

The information provided by Tripaldi’s sisters led authorities to Brock’s body on the morning of Aug. 2. Tripaldi was taken into custody in Manchester that same day.

A post on Brock’s Facebook page indicated he had resided in Franklin since early June. Friends previously told the Monitor he had moved to New Hampshire roughly two years ago after relocating from Jackson, Miss., where he grew up.

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