Man shot by Nashua police says he was acting in self defense
By KIMBERLY HOUGHTON Union Leader Correspondent
NASHUA - An attorney for Craig Riley, the man shot twice by a city police officer during an arrest last month, says that authorities may have used unlawful force that prompted Riley to defend himself, according to court documents.
Riley, who was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday for an arraignment on 16 indictments in connection with the March 22 incident, has filed a notice of defense motion at Hillsborough County Superior Court.
According to the motion, filed by defense attorney Anthony Sculimbrene, Riley is reserving his right to utilize the defense of physical force in defense of a person.
"Specifically, the accused may present evidence at trial that to the extent that he took any action, he did so reasonably believing his conduct was necessary to defend from what he reasonably believed to be the imminent use of unlawful force by Officer Stephen Morrill," according to court documents.
During the March 22 incident, Morrill shot Riley twice when Riley allegedly tried to grab the patrolman's gun and managed to obtain the officer's expandable baton.
Morrill was attempting to speak with Riley outside the Knightsbridge Arms Condominium development in regards to a shoplifting incident in another community when Riley allegedly ran from authorities.
Riley, 41, of Nashua, allegedly ran from Morrill three times during the incident, which escalated into an altercation between the two men, according to court documents. The indictments state that Riley allegedly grabbed Morrill's baton and swung it twice at the officer.
Riley is also accused of pushing Morrill twice, striking him three times, placing his arm around the officer's neck and trying to grab his firearm, according to the indictments.
During the incident, Morrill eventually pulled his gun and fired two shots. Both men were hospitalized and released. Riley, who is a convicted felon, is being held on $75,000 cash bail.
Meanwhile, Morrill has been placed on paid administrative leave, per department protocol, while the department conducts an internal review of the shooting.