Franklin man gets 42 years for shooting boyfriend in the head then burying him aliveBy PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader
April 26. 2018 10:10AM
CONCORD — A Franklin man who police say shot his boyfriend in the head and buried him alive will spend 42 years to life in state prison after pleading guilty to a charge of second degree murder Wednesday.
Richard Tripaldi, 26, pled guilty to second degree murder Wednesday in Merrimack County Superior Court for knowingly causing the murder of his boyfriend, James Brock, 24, of Jackson, Miss., on June 21, 2017. Tripaldi was sentenced to 42 years to life in state prison on the second degree murder charge, as well as seven and a half to 15 years in prison for stealing Brock’s car.
Authorities said Brock’s murder took place last June on land off Flaghole Road in Franklin, where the two had been living in a makeshift campground. Details of the case were laid out in an affidavit filed last fall in Merrimack County Superior Court.
Tripaldi’s 17-year-old sister told police that her brother had confessed to killing his boyfriend in June, the affidavit reads.
Tripaldi “told her that he brought Brock out into the woods, shot him in the head, and then buried him beneath a campfire,” the affidavit reads. “Tripaldi told her that Brock was still breathing after he shot him,” and was breathing when he buried him.
Jeffery Strelzin, Senior Assistant Attorney General, told a New Hampshire Union Leader reporter last fall an autopsy determined that Brock died from a gunshot wound to the head.
The affidavit said that Tripaldi told his sister he killed Brock in order to steal his money, drugs and automobile.
He spoke to her while sitting in a four-door sedan believed to be Brock’s 2007 Chevy Impala.
On Aug. 2, 2017, police searched the camping area where Tripaldi and Brock were believed to have lived. The area is about a quarter-mile into the woods between Flaghole and Montgomery roads.
Authorities discovered a skull in a rudimentary fire pit beneath a mattress.
A body was found an inch or two below the ground in front of the skull. The assistant New Hampshire medical examiner estimated it had been there for about a month.
The medical examiner noted an entrance wound believed to be from a small-caliber bullet on the side of the skull.
Tripaldi was arrested in Manchester that same day on a charge of second-degree murder, and held without bail since that time.
A grand jury later indicted him on a charge of first-degree murder with an alternate charge of second-degree murder. He was also charged with stealing Brock’s car.