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Channel 9 surrenders tape of jailhouse interview wiht accused killer Shawn Carter

LACONIA — WMUR television has agreed to give the the N.H. State Attorney's Office a complete copy of its taped interview with accused double ax murderer Shawn Carter.

According to a filing obtained in the Belknap County Superior Court, one of WMUR's reporters interviewed Carter on December 3, during his incarceration at the Belknap County Jail.

While a portion of the interview was aired by WMUR, Senior N.H. Asst. Attorney General Jeffrey Strelzin told them he felt he was entitled to view the entire session. Strelzin contacted Carter's defense team of Robin Wight and Eric Wolpin who said they also wanted to see the entire interview.

WMUR initially refused to give the state the entire interview, citing its internal policies as well as reporter privilege, offering the state the portion that was aired.

Rather than filing for a search warrant, the state filed a motion in court asking for the entire tape. On December 23, Strelzin filed a notice in Belknap County Superior Court saying that WMUR has agreed to give him the tape and the motion he filed was moot.

Carter is accused of chopping his mother Priscilla Carter and brother Timothy Carter to death on either May 23 or May 24 in the Sunset Drive home the three shared in the Winnisquam section of Belmont. Carter was arrested on May 24 for driving without a license and was formally charged with four counts of second-degree homicide on July 9.

Since May 24 he has remained incarcerated in the Belknap County Jail.

The WMUR reporter interviewed him and showed him the affidavits filed in support of his arrest arrest warrant.

In the course of the interview, the WMUR reporter showed Carter the police affidavits filed in support of his arrest warrant and asked him if he committed the murder. He replied that he was being charged with murder.

In his motion, Strelzin had argued that the interview didn't fall under the privilege accorded to reporters to protect their sources because there was no "source" in this case. He said the state wanted to review the entire interview to see if Carter made any admissions because the state prosecutor has an obligation not just to obtain convictions but to use "'every legitimate means to bring about a just (conviction.)'" He said the taped interview may also contain exculpatory information that Carter's defense could use.

Carter defense team has also raised issued on his competency to stand trial.

Strelzin also argued that the defendant's interview is evidence of his mental health and that he was able to speak to a stranger and review the affidavits has a bearing on whether or not he competent and is able to assist in his own defense.

 
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