Justice for Billy Jo Ahearn: Second-Degree Murder Trial Begins in NH
A jury trial started on Monday morning in the state's case against a man accused of fatally shooting a woman as she was walking along South Main Street in Rochester.
Justin Belanger, 22, of Rochester, is charged with two counts of second-degree murder and falsifying physical evidence after he allegedly killed Billy Jo Ahearn on June 5, 2018.
Ahearn was shot one time in the pelvis. When emergency crews arrived at the scene, located between the now-shuttered Friendly's and The Emily Cross House, they found Ahearn with a man and woman.
Ahearn died soon after arriving at a local hospital.
The incident happened around midnight and some events occurred on Jan. 6, according to prosecutors.
Belanger's defense attorneys, Brett Newkirk and Philip Dreher, argue that their client wasn't the killer and the jury was told on Monday morning prior to the view that Belanger was with two other people who ran from the scene to where he was living on Lafayette Street in Rochester.
Newkirk and Dreher say that surveillance video shows the two other people, who allegedly jumped out of the window at the residence before police arrived.
The motive for the shooting has not been publicly revealed by law enforcement officials.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Peter Hinckley said during a recess that he plans to call between 18 and 20 witnesses. The trial will last between three and five days, according to his estimates.