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Hampton victim's friend says no one took accused killer's past threats seriously

Union Leader Correspondent

October 08. 2013 1:06PM
Accused killer Peter Bartoloni at his video arraignment this morning from the Rockingham County jail. Jason Schreiber/Union Leader Correspondent 

SEABROOK — A friend of a man found dead inside his Hampton Beach house claims the accused murderer made threats to kill him before, but no one took them seriously.

Neighbor Nikki Belanger said 70-year-old Peter Bartoloni had threatened Robert Roderick in the past.

"So many times he would tell us that he was going to kill Bob, and we just blew it off," said Belanger, who with her boyfriend found Roderick dead inside the house at 19 M. St. last Thursday night.

Roderick's former roommate and close friend, Maggie Gauron, said she had never heard about any threats made against Roderick.

"Bob never saw this coming," said Gauron, who was with Roderick and Bartoloni earlier on the day of the murder and didn't see any signs of trouble.

Gauron and Belanger were among a small group of friends of the murder victim who attended Bartoloni's arraignment this morning on second-degree murder charges.

He is accused of bludgeoning the 56-year-old Roderick with a sledgehammer inside the beach house they shared.

Given the seriousness of the charges, Judge Sawako Gardner agreed with assistant attorney general Peter Hinckley's request that Bartoloni remain held without bail at the Rockingham County jail.

Bartoloni, who was arraigned in the 10th Circuit Court, Seabrook District Division, via video conference from the jail, is due back in court for a probable cause hearing Oct. 17 at 11 a.m.

Hinckley offered no motive for the killing as the case remains under investigation. Police affidavits in the case have also been sealed.

Despite the claims of past threats against Roderick, friends said it appeared Roderick and Bartoloni got along.

"When they drank they had their arguments, but for the most part they did get along," Belanger said.

Gauron and Belanger said Bartoloni mentioned that he served many years in prison for other crimes and had bragged about it.

Bartoloni's criminal past isn't clear, but he is a convicted sex offender who faces charges in Hampton after police claim he failed to register as an offender when he moved to the area from Massachusetts.

Gauron said Bartoloni moved in with Roderick a couple of months ago and before that was living with someone else on Seabrook Beach.

"For this to happen to him, it's just uncalled for," Gauron said.

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