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Court to rule on admissibility of cellphone photos in trial of man accused of murdering Alexandria toddler

By BEA LEWIS
Union Leader Correspondent

April 18. 2017 8:30PM
Tommy Page, 30, formerly of Alexandria, listens to testimony Monday in Grafton County Superior Court. Facing murder charges, the defense has argued that key evidence should be inadmissible at trial. (Bea Lewis/Correspondent)

NORTH HAVERHILL — A judge is now deciding if photographs found on a cellphone allegedly depicting the sexual abuse of an 11-month-old boy who later died of his injuries can be admitted as evidence during the trial of his accused killer.

Tommy Page, 30, formerly of 133 Fowler River Road, Alexandria, has been charged with alternate counts of first- and second-degree murder and manslaughter in connection with the Nov. 15, 2015, death of Shawn Sylvester.

The son of the defendant’s former girlfriend died from blunt impact trauma to his head, a day and a half after he was rushed to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

The state has accused Page of killing the boy by applying crushing force to his head before or after sexually assaulting him, and, under a different theory, that he recklessly caused the death under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to the value of human life.

Page was initially arrested on 23 counts of possession of child sex abuse images, but those charges have since been dropped. He was indicted for murder five months after the state medical examiner’s office ruled the death a homicide.

During a hearing on Monday in Grafton County Superior Court, the defense argued that the photos should be kept from the jury as the police affidavit submitted to a judge in support of a search warrant did not specifically describe what they wanted to seize and why.

Prosecutors called three witnesses to bolster their argument that the photographs found on Page’s phone should be admissible.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Peter Hinckley said the state provided the required specifics for a judge to approve the search of the defendant’s phone.

The defense maintains the allegedly incriminating photos were found when screen shot images were being viewed to determine whether they had captured deleted text messages.

Page remains held without bail at the Grafton County Jail, and is scheduled to stand trial in September.


Courts Crime Alexandria Haverhill