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Nashua man indicted in fatal stabbing of Good Samaritan

Union Leader Correspondent

January 25. 2012 11:28PM

NASHUA - The man accused of murdering an off-duty emergency medical technician has been indicted on murder charges in the stabbing death last fall on a city street.

Six grand jury indictments were handed up last week at Hillsborough County Superior Court against Matthew Packer, 19, of 36 Carlene Drive, in the death of Paul Frontiero III and the stabbings of two city women.

Packer has been indicted on one charge of first-degree murder, two charges of second-degree murder, a charge of attempted murder and two charges of first-degree assault.

Frontiero, 27, of Nashua, died after he was allegedly stabbed by Packer 16 times with a knife, including one puncture to the heart, following an altercation Oct. 9, 2011, outside of 13 Spruce St. Packer allegedly pulled a knife on two women, at which time Frontiero intervened, according to testimony at Packer's probable cause hearing last October.

According to the indictments, Packer 'recklessly caused the death of (Frontiero) under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life' and 'purposely caused the death of (Frontiero) by stabbing him multiple times with a knife.'

Frontiero's mother, Cathy Frontiero of Gloucester, Mass., said previously that her son died a hero, and that he was trying to save the two women - Jill Arnold and Kathryn Libby - from possibly being killed.

According to court documents, Packer allegedly cut Arnold in the throat with the knife, and repeatedly stabbed Libby and slashed her face during the altercation. Both women, from Nashua, survived the assault.

During questioning, Packer told police that he only took out the six-inch pocket knife after being punched in the ear, adding he then snapped and lost control, according to testimony during the hearing.

Packer also told authorities that he was bipolar and he was not taking his medication at the time of the stabbings because he could not afford it.

Frontiero worked for EasCare Ambulance Service out of Dorchester, Mass., and was training to become a paramedic. He planned to leave for the Dominican Republic last fall for his second medical mission trip.

Two other people have been indicted in connection with the case. Packer's brother, James Packer, 21, of 16 Carlene Drive, and Rosemary Chevez, 18, of 23 Eastern Ave., Amherst, have been charged with hindering apprehension or prosecution for allegedly helping Matthew Packer elude capture following the stabbing.

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