Manchester man charged with shooting woman after tattoo payment dispute
MANCHESTER — Malachi Yahtues, who was arraigned Wednesday in Circuit Court-Manchester District Division on charges for allegedly assaulting and threatening a woman to whom he owed money for tattoo work, was back in Circuit Court Thursday, facing six new felony charges, including first-degree assault for allegedly shooting the woman who had embarrassed him.
Yahtues, 40, of 406 Hanover St., is accused of shooting Ashley Willows, 29, early Monday morning at her East High Street apartment after allegedly assaulting and threatening her Saturday afternoon after she went to his residence and, in front of his wife, confronted him about money he owed her.
Court documents show Willows told police Yahtues hit her in the face and made a comment to the effect of: “You don’t know who I am. ..I have shot people in the past for no reason.”
Willows said Yahtues also threatened to kill her dog.
Police said the bullets that struck Willows in the right chest and left hip area early Monday morning left marks, but did not penetrate the skin. Police recovered five shell casings outside Willows’ apartment and recovered three rounds inside the apartment.
At Yahtues’ arraignment Wednesday, bail was set at $10,000 cash-only after police prosecutor Carrissa Pelletier said Willows was terrified and information was becoming available about the shooting and linking it to Yahtues.
Judge William Lyons set additional bail of $100,000 cash-only Thursday in Circuit Court, at Yahtues’ arraignment on felony charges of first-degree assault, criminal threatening (2), tampering with a witness, convicted felon in possession of a firearm, and career armed criminal.
No plea can be entered to a felony charge in circuit court, so a probable cause hearing was set for July 10 when a judge can determine whether the evidence is sufficient to send the charges to the Hillsborough County North Grand Jury for possible indictment.
Court documents show Yahtues’ wife, Tammy, who married Yahtues June 7, after two years as a couple, told police that her husband was angry about being confronted by Willows and made comments like: “She will get her’s,” and that she deserves everything she had coming.
Tammy Yahtues also told police that the couple went to a relative’s residence in Lawrence, Mass., Sunday and her husband drank a large amount of alcohol and appeared to be drunk. She said he assaulted he during the day and after she drove him home to the Hanover Street apartment, arriving at about 10:30 p.m., the couple argued.
She told police he called her names, demanded she look at him when he is talking to her and then, with a gun in his hand, said the way things were going he would shoot her, her son and himself. She told police he then racked the slide of the gun, ejecting a round, telling her the gun was loaded “and the next one is coming to you.”
Later, she said, he made comments like: “I won’t be made a chump.”
She said he left the apartment about midnight, returning at about 12:45 a.m. Monday, and told her: “I’ve been here all night, right,” and “If they come looking for me, you never saw me leave.”
Sometime after 1 a.m., she said, he had her drive him near, but not directly past, Willows’ apartment, where there was a large police presence.
The court documents show Yahtues’ wife said that later Monday he wanted a news link to a story about the shooting.
The documents also say Yahtues told police Tuesday that he did have a confrontation with Willows Saturday afternoon, but he didn’t assault her and only yelled at her. He denied any involvement in the shooting and said he was home with his wife at the time.
Police said Yahtues’ three or more felony convictions in Massachusetts, for distributing cocaine, possession of a drug with intent to distribute, and two assaults with a dangerous weapon, support the charges of armed career criminal and felon in possession of a firearm.