HAMPTON - Police charged a 70-year-old roommate of Robert Roderick with second-degree murder Monday for allegedly beating Roderick to death with a sledge hammer inside his rented beach house last Thursday.
Peter Bartoloni was incarcerated on an unrelated Hampton charge of failure to register as a sex offender when police arrested him Monday morning on the murder charge, according to assistant attorney general Peter Hinckley and court records.
Bartoloni and Roderick, 56, were roommates "for a brief time" at the beach house Roderick rented at 19 M St., Hinckley said.
They were roommates at the time of the murder, the prosecutor said.
Roderick's body was discovered on the living room couch by a third roommate Thursday night.
An autopsy revealed cause of death to be blunt impact injuries to the head.
In an unrelated case, Bartoloni was arraigned in the 10th Circuit Court in Seabrook Monday morning on a charge alleging he failed to report his status as a sex offender to the Hampton Police Department after moving into the beach house with Roderick.
Police arrested Bartoloni on the failure-to-report charge Friday while investigating Roderick's murder.
"During our investigation we became aware of this individual who had not reported," Hampton Police Chief Jamie Sullivan said.
According to a police affidavit, Bartoloni was convicted of rape in Massachusetts in 1990.
"When running a query on Mr. Bartoloni, he also shows to be a Commonwealth of Massachusetts sexual offender for a sexual offense occurring on 1980-12-22. Based upon this information, it appears likely that he has multiple convictions or prosecution for sexual offenses," Hampton police Detective Christopher Gilroy wrote in the affidavit.
When police contacted the Massachusetts Sexual Offender Registry Board, they were told that Bartoloni last registered as an offender in Lowell, Mass., and never indicated that he had moved or planned to relocate to Hampton as required by law, the affidavit said.
In an interview, Bartoloni told police that he has been living on Hampton Beach for "five months" and that he is aware that he's a registered sex offender, the affidavit said.
Bartoloni also told police that he was considering a move to New Mexico.
Bartoloni will be arraigned Tuesday on the murder charge in the 10h Circuit Court in Seabrook.
Meanwhile, the manager of the Westport Motel on Ashworth Avenue confirmed that Bartoloni had checked into the motel Thursday night. The manager said Bartoloni was "in and out" of the motel that night.
Scott Anderson, who had been staying with Roderick a few days last week and found Roderick's body, described Bartoloni as a "gentle, older guy."
"Everybody liked him," Anderson added.