NH corrections officer charged with second-degree murder for kneeling on psychiatric patient’s neck

A former New Hampshire corrections officer was arrested Thursday for his role in the alleged murder of a psychiatric patient in his care.

Matthew Millar, 39, of Boscawen, New Hampshire, is charged with second-degree murder for causing the death of a patient, Jason Rothe, 50, at the Department of Correction’s secure psychiatric unit, according to Attorney General John . Mr. Formelle.

On April 29, 2023, authorities say Roche got into a physical altercation with six corrections officers in the Department of Correction’s secure psychiatric unit that resulted in Roche’s altercation. The facts and circumstances leading to this altercation were not immediately available.

Immediately following the deadly incident, a Department of Corrections spokesperson said they immediately notified the Attorney General’s Office and the NH State Police Major Crimes Unit. All officers involved were subsequently placed on administrative leave pending an administrative review. They returned to work shortly after.

On October 25, 2023, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined that Rothe’s manner of death was homicide and that the cause of death was both traumatic and positional asphyxia.

Investigators say Millar applied downward pressure with his knee and arms to Rothe’s torso and neck for several minutes while he was handcuffed face down on the ground. The Department of Corrections says this use of force goes against their protocols and training.

As of Dec. 13, 2023, Millar was no longer a DOC employee, a spokesperson said.

“The decision to bring a charge of this nature for conduct on duty by a law enforcement officer was not made lightly, but is based on a careful and thorough review of the facts and the law,” said Attorney General Formella. “The charge in this incident represents allegations against a specific individual. This should in no way be taken as a reflection on the overall behavior or professionalism of…

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