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Survivor of 2012 Dalton shooting charged with criminal threatening

Special to the Union Leader

July 31. 2013 5:25PM

LANCASTER — Wayne S. Ainsworth, the lone survivor of a shooting last year in Dalton that left two men dead — including Ainsworth’s same-sex spouse — has been charged with using a shotgun three months ago to force a man in that town to give him money. He’s accused of firing the shotgun near the alleged victim.

A Coos County Superior Court grand jury has indicted Ainsworth, 55, of 643 Whitefield Road in Dalton, on three Class B felony charges: criminal threatening with a deadly weapon; reckless conduct; and being a convicted felon in possession of a weapon, all on April 26 in Dalton.

Ainsworth is accused of threatening to shoot Roger Wood if Wood did not give him money, according to the indictments which were released Wednesday. The grand jury handed up the indictments Friday during its July session.

Ainsworth, who spent years in state prison following his conviction for aggravated felonious sexual assault in Strafford County, threatened Wood by pointing the weapon at him and firing it in the air near Wood, according to the indictments.

On April 11, 2012, police, including the New Hampshire State Police Major Crime Unit, sped to the same address that apparently remains Ainsworth’s current home in the small rural town of Dalton just north of Littleton.

There they found the bodies of Joseph E. Besk, 48, who lived at the Whitefield Road home with Ainsworth, and Christopher Smith, 45, both of whom had been shot to death.

Police found Ainsworth seriously wounded there from gunshots. They are believed to have had him taken to Weeks Medical Center in Lancaster before he was flown to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon where he recovered, but the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office would release little information on the shootings, and refused to confirm the details of Ainsworth’s treatment.

Investigators did say they believed Smith shot Ainsworth and Besk, then turned the gun on himself, but they would not discuss the motive.

State medical examiners concluded that Besk had been shot in the chest and neck, and Smith had been shot in the head.

Like Ainsworth, Besk was a sex offender, but he was convicted in Hillsborough County.

The two were cellmates for a time who took advantage of the June 2009 change in New Hampshire law that allowed same-sex couples to marry. They were wed in a ceremony at the state prison that took place after Ainsworth had completed his term of about 12 years. But Besk remained incarcerated for about two more years after the wedding, according to prison officials, who said he was an inmate from 1993 to late-2011.

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