Accused murderer talk police he was a practiced student of choke holds

LACONIA — Newly unsealed documents regarding a June 10 homicide at a mental health group support home on on McGrath Street revealed that accused murderer Kasey Riley, 20, was allegedly involved in a fight with housemate and victim Zachary March over videos.

According to affidavits obtained from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division, Riley told responding police that he and March had been sitting in the living room of the home. He said March was watching television while Riley was watching videos about hunting on You Tube via his cell phone.

State Police investigators said Riley told them that March objected to the videos Riley was watching because he felt they were "gory and cruel."

Riley told police March came at him and swung his fists at him. He said March said he was going to knock out Riley and "then I'm going to get a knife and kill you."

His story was that March got him on his back and Riley put his legs and arms around March and was squeezing him. He alleged told police he was able to secure him and "squeezed his neck for about thirty seconds" and that March "fake passed out."

Riley claims he let go and March picked up a pen and tried to stab him but stabbed the couch instead.

The two allegedly kept wrestling until Riley said he got March's neck between his legs and squeezed his arteries for what he said was about ten minutes.

Riley told police he smelled "flatulence" and March started convulsing. Riley allegedly said "Oh my God, I think I've killed him" and got water and dumped it on March in an attempt to revive him.

A third male who lives in the house told police that Riley had previously placed him in three separate choke holds about two days before the homicide. The unidentified male said he had trouble breathing and started to panic. The same male also said that on Sunday, June 9, he allegedly heard Riley talking on his cell phone and that he seemed agitated and was yelling.

An unidentified woman who also lives in the house told police that Riley came upstairs and started screaming her name and saying that March was "out cold." she said she ran downstairs and called 911.

The woman also said that Riley was pacing back and forth saying "What am I going to do?" She told state police that when police arrived and took Riley out to the porch to speak with him, he turned to her and said, "I guess I'm going to prison for murder."

The same woman also said she, Riley and March would smoke marijuana "on a nightly basis" however she had not smoked any on June 9 and had not seen either Riley or March smoke pot that night.

The lead state police investigator said Riley allegedly demonstrated various choke holds to an officer and told him he had practiced them ofter. He allegedly told police he had held his friends in choke holds during horseplay and had once choked his mother who needed to be hospitalized as a result.

He also said Riley told him he understood that he could "choke someone out" by placing pressure on his or her arteries.

Riley was indicted by a grand jury earlier this month on two counts of second-degree homicide — one that he recklessly caused March's death and one that he negligently caused March's death. They are different theories of the same crime.

According to Genesis Behavior Health Executive Director Maggie Pritchard, who was interviewed in June, 24 McGrath Street is one of two support homes the agency owns in Laconia.

She said a "support home" differs from a "group home" in that a "support home" provides homes for people who might become homeless and have some kind of emotional or mental disability. A "support home" has programs but no 24-hour supervision. A "group home," said Pritchard, has 24-hour supervision.