City man, indicted for assault on woman in a hate crime, also accused of torturing cat

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MANCHESTER, NH – A city man is facing 28 charges accusing him of beating a former girlfriend because of her sexual orientation and, in separate incidents, torturing a cat that he kicked downstairs and put in a dryer.

Lavaughn Barnett, 19, of 196 Belmont St., was indicted by a Hillsborough County Superior Court North grand jury on two counts each of first- and second-degree assault; two counts of criminal restraint; two counts of kidnapping; and five counts of animal cruelty. The misdemeanor charges include 10 charges of domestic violence, simple assault, and four charges of criminal threatening.

According to the indictments, on Aug. 8, 2023, Barnett is accused of confining J.P., a former intimate partner, inside his car by locking the doors and then taking her cell phone while threatening to kill her.  He also is accused of locking J.P. in his bedroom, choking her, striking her with a metal baseball bat, threatening to kill her, punching her in the eye and head, and biting her on her right forearm.  He allegedly threatened to kill her and told her if she didn’t choose him, she was going to die.

The first-degree assault charge, which alleges he hit J.P. with a metal baseball bat, carries a 3 1/2 to 7-year prison sentence on conviction.  However, the second first-degree assault indictment, which alleges he struck J.P. with the bat and was motivated to commit the crime because of hostility towards J.P.’s sexual orientation, carries a sentence of 10 to 30 years because it is a hate crime.

The same holds true for one of the criminal restraint and second-degree assault charges that allege Barnett committed the crime because of his hostility toward J.P.’s sexual orientation.  Barnett, if convicted, could be sentenced to 10 to 30 years on each charge.

The animal cruelty charges allege that between June 1 and Aug. 8, 2023, Barnett purposely tortured a cat. One charge accuses him of tying the limbs of a cat together with socks and repeatedly hitting and smacking the cat with his hands, and putting a cat in a dryer.

On June 14, 2023, Barnett is accused of tying a weight to a cat’s neck and kicking it down the stairs.  He also allegedly threw a cat against a wall causing it to spin in the air, bounce off the wall and fall to the ground.

A co-defendant in the case, Rallista “Lisa” Adamtzikis, 19, of 626 Cohas Ave., was indicted on two counts of witness tampering.  Adamtziks is accused of telling J.P. to explain her injuries were the result of a fall down the stairs rather than a physical assault on her by Barnett.


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Pat Grossmith

Pat Grossmith is a freelance reporter.