Prosecutors: Men charged in Hampstead home invasion wrote to gang members
BRENTWOOD — Two men charged in a violent home invasion in Hampstead have been writing letters from jail to members of the Latin Kings gang, telling them about a key witness who led to their arrest, according to prosecutors.
The letters prompted Judge N. William Delker on Monday to limit how much evidence the men will have access to while being held at the Rockingham County jail while they await trial.
Max Menagerman, 24, and Angel Sanchez, 32, both of Haverhill, Mass., are accused of beating a man inside a Kent Farm Road home in Hampstead and raping a 54-year-old woman with a firearm. The attack happened on July 18, 2011.
They are headed to trial along with Abraham Depaula, 25, of Haverhill, Mass., who is charged with theft, burglary and firearms charges.
Protective order sought
Prosecutors sought a protective order from Delker at a hearing on Monday so that Menagerman and Sanchez would only be able to access evidence by a computer inside the jail. Corrections officials learned about a number of letters written by Menagerman and Sanchez by screening their mail. Assistant County Attorney Kirsten Wilson stopped short of saying the letters by Sanchez contained threats against the informant and three other witnesses.
“The letters often open with Latin King prayer,” Wilson said. The witnesses are identified in the letters by name, address and photographs provided through evidence shared by prosecutors prior to trial, according to Wilson. Menagerman sent out a similar letter, she said. The letters identified the informant, who is being held without bail on a material witness warrant. Sanchez was also found to be in possession of a letter penned by Menagerman, according to Wilson. Sanchez and Menagerman were ordered to have no contact with one another.
Defense lawyers on Monday protested to a judge during a hearing on Monday that their clients’ constitutional rights would be violated if their access to evidence in the case was curbed. “Nothing has been suggested that indicated my client broke the law in any way,” said defense lawyer Patrick Fleming, who represents Sanchez.
Delker still has to decide several other issues related to evidence-sharing in the case along with the status of the confidential informant, Aneudys Menendez, who was arrested in Florida after police could not locate him locally.
Depaula, Menagerman and Sanchez are also suspects in a Manchester home invasion that happened July 3, 2011, according to court papers filed by prosecutors. They have not been charged in that case.