City man indicted in hacking death of elderly man

Sign Up For Our FREE Daily eNews!

FOM 2022 7988 scaled
Hillsborough County Superior Courthouse North. File Photo/Jeffrey Hastings

NASHUA, NH – A Manchester man is under indictment on two counts of first-degree murder in the death of an elderly Lyndeborough man who died from hatchet strikes to the head.

Robert Gagnon, 46, who is detained in the Valley Street jail, also was indicted on an attempted murder charge in the shooting of Carlos Quintong, 44, of Manchester on Nov. 23, 2022, in Brookline, the same day he is accused of killing Robert Prest, 83.

A Hillsborough County Superior Court – Southern District Grand Jury handed up the indictments on Feb. 16, 2022.  They were made public on Thursday.

One of the first-degree murder counts accuses Gagnon of purposely causing Prest’s death by striking him multiple times in the head and, the other alternative count, accuses him of knowingly causing Prest’s death with a hatchet while attempting to commit a robbery.   

Prest was found murdered at his 774 Center Road home in Lyndeborough.

According to the indictments, on Nov. 22, 2022, the day before he attacked Prest, Gagnon stole a firearm from him.  He knew Prest because he had done some work on his property, according to police.

Earlier on the day he is accused of killing Prest, he allegedly shot Quintong in a drive-by shooting in Brookline.  Police said that incident was domestic-related.   

Quintong, who called 911 to report he was shot, said a man in a Jeep passed him and fired a shot through his passenger window and the bullet struck him.

 Gagnon was later seen by a police officer in Lyndeborough getting into a white BMW.  The license plate on the car led police to its owner, Robert Prest.  At his home, police found the Jeep parked behind the house; Prest was deceased.

An autopsy determined he died from blunt head injuries.   

Ultimately, Gagnon was spotted by police in Nashua and arrested.

Gagnon also was indicted on three counts of theft by unauthorized taking for knowingly obtaining or exercising control over a Jeep SUV owned by Brian LaCroix of Peterborough; a firearm owned by Prest, and Prest’s BMW 550GT.

The charges and allegations against  Gagnon are merely accusations, and he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


About this Author

Pat Grossmith

Pat Grossmith is a freelance reporter.