Nh Supreme Court denies appeal of second BOWW inmate convicted in 2010 murder

  • William Edic, 34, an inmate and alleged gang member convicted in the 2010 assault and murder of a fellow prisoner in Concord, was denied an appeal Tuesday by the state Supreme Court.

Monitor staff
Published: 1/31/2017 5:09:56 PM

The New Hampshire Supreme Court rejected an appeal from a second gang member convicted of helping to kill a fellow Concord inmate in 2010.

The justices denied William Edic’s request for a new trial Tuesday, just two months after issuing a similar ruling in a related case against Thomas Milton. Both men were separately sentenced to 38½ years in prison for the fatal attack against Anthony Renzzulla.

Edic argued in his appeal that the trial court restricted the defense’s cross-examination of key witnesses and erred in not allowing two correctional officers’ testimony. But the Supreme Court said some of that evidence would have been “merely cumulative or inconsequential,” and its exclusion did not jeopardize Edic’s right to a fair trial.

A Merrimack County Superior Court jury convicted Edic in summer 2014 of second-degree murder and falsifying physical evidence. The six-day trial included testimony from three of Edic’s former pod mates, who recounted a grisly assault in which Edic and Milton ambushed Renzzulla.

Renzzulla, 42 and hobbled at the time by back pain, was found later that day, July 26, 2010, crumpled next to a nearby pay phone. He died nearly 16 months later, having never regained consciousness.

Prosecutors and witnesses told jurors the attack had been ordered by a high-ranking member of the white supremacist gang, the Brotherhood of White Warriors. That leading member believed Renzzulla had snitched on two other gang members, they said, and the assault was payback.

During oral arguments before the Supreme Court in September, Edic’s appellate attorney, Christopher Johnson, said at least two state witnesses provided incriminating information about Edic to investigators to advance their own interests. However, the defense was unable to properly confront those witnesses – other convicted felons – about their true motivations for testifying, he said.

Johnson explained further in court documents that he believed defense attorneys were blocked from questioning the credibility of at least two inmate witnesses, Michael Mendoza and Randall Chapman. Both men saw the attack, and indicated their hopes for early release on parole, he said.

The Supreme Court justices noted in their order Tuesday that the evidence Edic sought to admit was “not direct evidence of the crimes charged.” Rather, they said, the evidence in question was tied to witnesses’ credibility and general motives for testifying, which had already been established for jurors in other ways.

In November, the Supreme Court denied the appeal of Edic’s accomplice. Milton argued that testimony from an expert witness, as well as another inmate’s testimony about a separate assault should not have been admissible at trial. The Supreme Court disagreed, saying the value of the evidence outweighed any perceived prejudice toward Milton.

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

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