Manchester man charged for providing fatal dose of fentanyl in 2016 death

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CONCORD, NH – Stephen Benoit, 29, of Manchester, was arrested Sept. 13, accused of dispensing a drug which caused the death of Christopher Gagne, 28, of Weare. The announcement was made jointly by Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald and Weare Police Chief Sean Kelly.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Agati explained the formal charge, known as acts prohibited – death resulting, applies to any drug crime.

“The charge carries the same punishment as second-degree murder, so it’s still a very serious charge, one that’s becoming more comment as we try to help law enforcement focus on the individual responsible, and not just the drug distribution network,” Agati said. The charge also gives more discretion to the court when it comes to sentencing, should there be a conviction.

Mr. Gagne died at his residence on Nov. 5 at his residence in Weare after ingesting a fatal amount of the controlled drug fentanyl. Members of the Weare Police Department have been actively investigating the circumstances of his death since that time.

Mr. Benoit was arrested Wednesday and arraigned Thursday morning at the 9th CircuitDistrict Division-Goffstown. He was arraigned on a single complaint alleging that on November 5, 2016, Stephen Benoit did knowingly dispense a controlled drug to Christopher Gagne, and that controlled drug was then ingested by Christopher Gagne resulting in Mr. Gagne’s death. Mr. Benoit’s bail was set at $50,000 cash only with various conditions.

Mr. Benoit is scheduled to appear for a probable cause hearing at the 9th Circuit-District Division-Goffstown at 9:30 a.m. on September 20, 2017. The charges and allegations are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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