Former New Hampshire corrections officer charged with murder in inmate’s death

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CONCORD — Former corrections officer Matthew Millar has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of an inmate at the Secure Psychiatric Unit of the Department of Corrections, Attorney General John M. Formella announced today.

Millar, 39, of Boscawen, is accused of recklessly causing the death of 50-year-old patient Jason Rothe by applying pressure to Rothe’s torso and neck, resulting in fatal traumatic and positional asphyxiation.

The incident occurred on April 29 when six corrections officers were involved in a use-of-force situation with Rothe.

The New Hampshire State Police and the Department of Justice conducted an investigation following Rothe’s death.

According to the affidavit, evidence suggests Millar used his knee and arms to exert downward pressure on Rothe while the inmate was handcuffed and lying face down, which is contrary to the Department of Corrections’ protocols.

Dr. Mitchell Weinberg of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined on Oct. 25 that Rothe’s manner of death was homicide.

The autopsy concluded the cause of death as combined traumatic and positional asphyxiation.

Millar, who had received training on asphyxia risks associated with certain restraints, was taken into custody earlier today.

An arraignment is expected this afternoon at the Concord Circuit Court.

No charges are currently anticipated against the other officers involved in the incident.

The Attorney General’s Office stresses that the allegations against Millar are merely accusations, and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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