Judge orders competency evaluation in Galusha murder case

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

Monitor staff
Friday, December 08, 2017

A judge has ordered a man accused of fatally stabbing a Concord resident to undergo a mental health evaluation.

That evaluation will help determine whether Daswan Jette, 21, is competent to stand trial on charges of first- and second-degree murder in the death of Sabrina Galusha.

A dispositional conference in the case was scheduled for Thursday, but Merrimack County Superior Court Judge John Kissinger Jr. ordered the hearing continued until a later date so the court can first address Jette’s mental competency.

Defense counsel filed a sealed motion last month asking the court to provide services for Jette to undergo a mental health evaluation. The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, who is prosecuting the case, has taken no position on the motion, according to court records. A competency hearing is scheduled for Feb. 22 in Concord.

Prosecutors allege Jette stabbed 23-year-old Galusha multiple times with a knife while attempting to steal a bag of marijuana, which had a street value of $90. The stabbing took place on May 30 outside the Penacook Place Apartments at 36 Pinehurst St. in Concord.

Concord police Detective Wade Brown testified in court in June that Galusha and three friends – Sam Chase, Madison Campbell and Annika Tidd – drove to the apartment complex to meet Jette at about 8:30 p.m. They recounted to investigators 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.

Friends attempted to drive Galusha to Concord Hospital, but her condition rapidly deteriorated, witnesses said. Tidd made it approximately 2 miles from Penacook Place when she pulled over and called 911.

When police met up with Tidd’s car outside Swenson Granite Works on North State Street, they found Galusha unresponsive in the back seat, Brown said. Galusha was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Jette is being held without bail pending trial.

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