MANCHESTER, NH – A video recording of the murder of Timothy Pouliot, shot dead last January outside The Goat Bar and Grill, shows that John Delee executed the 24-year-old, a prosecutor told jurors Friday.
Assistant Attorney General Scott D. Chase, in his closing argument to a Hillsborough County Superior Court North jury, said Delee, 24, of Salem, didn’t fear Pouliot, a slight man who weighed 121 pounds and was 5-foot-7. Delee was 6-foot-7 and weighed 350 pounds, nearly three times as much as Pouliot.
“This man was a bully,” Chase said. “A tough guy taking on a little guy.”
After four days of testimony, the jury is deliberating the guilt or innocence of Delee on two alternative counts of second-degree murder and one charge of reckless conduct. They also will consider whether he is guilty of manslaughter, which carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison on conviction. Second-degree murder is punishable by up to 20 to 40 years in prison.
Delee, 24, detained in the Valley Street jail, maintains he shot Pouliot in self-defense, that it was three-on-one – Pouliot and two of his friends – who confronted him early that January morning and had set him up for an attack.
Pouliot, of Manchester, was killed outside The Goat, 50 Old Granite St., just before 1 a.m. on Jan. 28, 2023. The shooting followed several incidents involving Delee, Pouliot and Pouliot’s friends, Michael Mendoza, 40, and Trenton Nash, 22, inside and outside the bar.
What happened that night was captured on video, from the time of the first confrontation between Delee and Pouliot inside the bar, to when Pouliot punched Delee in the head and Delee, in turn, pulled out a Glock pistol from his waistband and fired nine shots. Eight struck Pouliot, five hit him in the back.
Chase said Delee, standing 15-feet away from where Pouliot laid wounded on Old Granite Street, told one of Pouliot’s friends, “Come get your boy. He’s bleeding out,” Chase said. “That was the extent of his remorse.”
Defense Attorney Patrick Colvario said that what happened was “a tragedy but it is not murder.” He said Delee was alone when confronted by three men – Pouliot and his two friends. One of them, Michael Mendoza, had sucker punched him earlier in the night.
Then, outside the bar, Pouliot punched him again in the head and Delee pulled out a pistol and shot him.
The sequence of events began inside the bar when Delee saw Pouliot talking to his former girlfriend, Abigail Elliott-Orr on the dance floor.
Delee approached him and called him “scum.” That interaction ended with Pouliot laughing it off and shaking Delee’s hand.
Pouliot then went to the bar. Elliott-Orr and her friends also went to the bar and overheard Pouliot talking about how they were professional fighters and could knock out Delee.
Elliott-Orr and her friends went back to Delee and told him what Pouliot and Mendoza had said.
Delee was irate and confronted Pouliot. Ultimately, Delee shoved Pouliot twice and a special detail police officer and bouncers stepped in. Brian Delaney, a bouncer, pulled Delee away from Pouliot. When Delaney asked him why he pushed Pouliot, Delee told him because Pouliot had called him a “bitch.”
Delee went back to the dance floor but he saw Pouliot whisper something in Mendoza’s ear after which Mendoza took a swing at Delee.
The two fell to the floor in a scuffle and ultimately were escorted out of the bar. Delee contends his face was cut by the “big rings” Mendoza was wearing.
“The punch heard round the world,” Chase told the jury. During his closing statement, he replayed footage of the incident, as captured by the bar’s surveillance video. The recording shows Mendoza took a swing at Delee but missed, Chase said, before the two tumbled to the floor.
As he is led out by bouncers, Delee screamed and swore, “Who punched me in the face? Come fight me. Come fight me.”
Trenton Nash, who was with Pouliot and Mendoza, followed Mendoza out of the bar and headed to Mendoza’s car.
Delee raged outside on the sidewalk, still looking for a fight. “Fuck you. Who punched me? Why?” he screamed.
Pouliot left the bar soon after, heading in the opposite direction of Delee and his friends.
In the meantime, Delee’s friends tried to calm him down but Delee became more agitated.
Nash got out of his car and tried to talk to Delee. Nash, who testified Friday morning, said he didn’t see the scuffle inside the bar.
He said he surmised Delee was the person involved in the scuffle because of what he was yelling outside.
Nash said he tried to talk to Delee and, “he punched me and then tried to shake my hand and punched me again.”
Mendoza then got out of the car and, standing on a snowbank, pulled out pepper spray and pointed it at Delee.
Delee, in turn, pulled out his handgun, dropped it and picked it up again.
“He said if I sprayed him he’d shoot me,” said Mendoza who also testified on Friday.
Mendoza ran, along with Nash, to the Bank of America parking lot. Elliot-Orr screamed for Delee to put the gun away and his other friends tried to get him to leave.
Delee and his friends, and Pouliot and his friends, continued to exchange words from a distance. The Delee party headed down an alley leading toward the lot at Market Basket where Delee had parked
Delee, however, resisted and turned back, heading to Old Granite Street. Alone, he was met by Mendoza, Nash and Pouliot.
“Timmy gave the defendant the excuse he needed,” Assistant New Hampshire Attorney General Rachel Harrington said in her opening statement. “He went up and punched the defendant in the face.”
Immediately, Delee fired nine shots from his Glock pistol, hitting Pouliot eight times.
As the shots were fired people ran for cover.
One bullet struck Pouliot in the hand, five hit him in the back, one hit him in the shoulder and another in the armpit.
After the shooting, Delee turned around and walked away, leaving “Timmy to bleed out and die,” prosecutors said.
When police officers arrive, Delee tells them, “It was three on one. They attacked me.”