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Bail set at $1M for man in NH officer shooting

By Lynne Tuohy
Associated Press / March 22, 2012
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MANCHESTER, N.H.—A judge set bail at $1 million on Thursday for a 22-year-old man charged with attempted murder in the shooting of a police officer in Manchester.

Police said Myles Webster of Litchfield is accused of shooting Officer Daniel Doherty, who was on duty Wednesday night, with a handgun on the city's West Side. Prosecutors said Doherty was involved in a foot chase around 6:30 p.m., and shortly thereafter, police received reports of shots fired and that Doherty had been hit.

Prosecutor Maureen O'Neil said 15 rounds were fired, and that Webster "essentially emptied his weapon." Doherty, 25, suffered multiple gunshot wounds -- five in the legs and torso -- and remained in serious, but stable condition at Catholic Medical Center, where he underwent surgery.

Doherty's parents and scores of police officers attended Webster's arraignment. In January, Doherty and another officer were given an Honorable Service Award by the police department for preventing an armed robbery in November.

"Anybody that knows him knows he is a very strong young man," Manchester Police Chief David Mara said at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

Mara described Doherty as a well-liked, hard-working officer. He declined to discuss Doherty's condition other than to say it hadn't changed.

"He has his family gathered around him. He has his Manchester Police Department family gathered around him," Mara said.

A police spokeswoman said Doherty's family did not want to comment following the arraignment. Doherty joined the department 3 1/2 years ago. He is a native of Allston, Mass.

"My thoughts and prayers, and those of my wife Susan, are with Officer Doherty and his entire family at this time," Gov. John Lynch said in a statement. "We pray for his quick and full recovery."

Defense attorney John Newman said the bail was excessive and he is prepared to challenge that at an April 4 hearing for Webster. Judge Gregory Michael agreed to the state's bail request based on Webster's criminal record and nature of the current offense.

According to federal court records, Webster pleaded guilty in October 2010 to a charge of conspiracy to make a false statement during a firearms purchase and was sentenced to 13 months in federal prison, plus six months in a half-way house. Police said he tried to pay others to buy guns for him at Riley's Sport Shop in Hooksett and from Great Northern Sports Center in Derry.

In June 2011, he was accused of walking away from a residential re-entry center in Boston. He was sentenced in October to six months in prison. He was released from federal prison on Jan. 5, six months after he was arrested for leaving the halfway house.

In 2008, he was charged with an armed robbery in Manchester, but a Corrections Department spokesman said he had no background on the case.

Wednesday's shooting was the first shooting of an officer in the city since Michael Briggs was killed in the line of duty in 2006. In that case, Michael Addison was found guilty of first-degree murder in 2008 and was sentenced to death. His sentence is being appealed.

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