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Son Arraigned in Beating of Father, a State Justice

April 02, 2002|From Associated Press

MANCHESTER, N.H. — The son of a New Hampshire Supreme Court justice was accused Monday of pounding his father in the face with a guitar after hours of drinking.

John Christian Broderick, 30, was arraigned on an assault charge and ordered held on $100,000 bond.

Justice John Broderick, 54, was attacked in his sleep early Saturday, beaten so severely that a top state official could not recognize him. He was in serious condition Monday with broken facial bones after six hours of surgery the day before.

Police said the son had blood on his clothes and was so intoxicated that they took him to a hospital for observation.

"It was one of the most severe attacks our office has seen," Assistant Atty. Gen. William Delker said.

Delker said the son left the condominium and threw the guitar away after the attack; he would not say whether police had found it, nor would he say if the guitar was a hollow acoustic instrument or a heavier electric guitar.

The assault followed a daylong argument between father and son, according to court papers. The elder Broderick went to bed after his son apologized, but the younger man began drinking whiskey.

"The more he drank, the more he stewed about the fight," Delker said. "He eventually decided to attack his father while he slept."

Prosecutors said the younger man returned to the house after the beating and asked police officers if his father was OK.

Delker said the younger Broderick was on probation for a robbery in Massachusetts. He pleaded guilty Feb. 26 and also pleaded guilty recently to disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in New Hampshire in an incident that involved alcohol, Delker said.

Two years ago, the elder Broderick was charged with slapping his son, according to court records. The charge was later dropped.

When that case came to court, a prosecutor said the incident had begun when the elder Broderick told his son he had eight weeks to move out. His son allegedly replied, "You have eight hours until you're in the ground."

At the time, Broderick blamed the incident on his son's drinking.

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