Same man, same woman, same crime but this time, assault was deadly

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MANCHESTER, NH — Jennifer Burpee, 45, had to know what she was in for Tuesday night when she desperately called 911 to report “Damien” was pounding on her door in the Henry J. Pariseau Apartments on the city’s West Side.

When police arrived, they found Burpee dead inside her apartment.  She was beaten to death with a piece of furniture.  Damien Seace, 35, address unknown, was hiding in the bathroom, police said.

Seace was arrested on two alternative counts of second-degree murder, alleging he recklessly or knowingly caused Burpee’s death.

It wasn’t the first time he’d been arrested for domestic violence involving Burpee.

Last Oct. 29, Seace, 35, was arrested for second-degree assault after telling “J.B.” he was going to murder and bury her as he put his hands around her neck and strangled her, according to court documents on file in Hillsborough County Superior Court North.

Tuesday night, Seace allegedly carried out that threat, killing Burpee, 45, inside Apt. 708 at 55 Amory St.  

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In the October incident, he also was charged with two counts of criminal threatening and a misdemeanor offense of simple assault, domestic violence.

On Feb. 13, however, prosecutors dropped all four charges against Seace, who had listed his address as the Liberty House at 75 West Baker St., a sober house for homeless veterans.

While the file doesn’t indicate why the charges were dropped in that case, it is not unusual in domestic violence cases for victims to be reluctant to testify against their abuser or to recant.

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In February 2019 all four charges against Seace were dropped.

Seace’s alleged abuse of Burpee goes back at least to July 18, 2017, when he was arrested by Manchester police at 92 Riverwalk Way for allegedly punching Burpee several times about the head.  She is identified by name in circuit court documents. At the time, Seace listed his address as 387 Washington St., Dover.

Prosecutors dropped those charges as well.

Seace waived arraignment Wednesday afternoon and, by agreement, was placed in preventive detention. On his application for a court-appointed attorney Seace wrote, “Give me the best! Amen.” Public defender Paul Borchardt was assigned the case.

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In his application for a court-appointed attorney, Seace wrote, “Give me the Best! Amen, and signed his first name only, “Damien,” with a flourish.

The police department’s Critical Incident Response Unit truck was parked outside the Pariseau Apartments yesterday.  A detective, with blue booties covering his shoes, entered the building where residents said the seventh floor had been cordoned off.

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Kristin Lavoie also lives at the Pariseau apartments, one floor above murder victim Jennifer Burpee. Photo/Pat Grossmith

Kristin Lavoie lives on the eighth floor at the opposite end of the building where Burpee’s apartment was located.  She didn’t hear anything.

Burpee, she said, moved into the apartments about four months ago and pretty much kept to herself. 

Lavoie didn’t know she had a boyfriend.  She said in order to enter the apartment building, visitors have to be buzzed in but she said there are residents who will buzz anyone in.

Anyone in the area of 55 Armory Street between 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Tuesday, July 23, 2019, who may have seen or heard any part of this event is encouraged to call the Manchester Police Department Detective Unit at (603) 668-8711.

The charges and allegations are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse and needs help…

YWCA NH Crisis Services provides free and confidential services to victims/survivors of domestic and sexual violence and stalking, regardless of gender, age, health status, physical, mental, and emotional ability, sexual orientation, sexual identity/expression, socio-economic status race, national origin, immigration status or religious or political affiliation.

24-Hour Crisis Line

  • Call 603-668-2299 24/7 and give a name and call back number.
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  • Language Line & TTY

For bilingual and bicultural clients, all services are available with access to the language line in more than 100 languages.

For clients in the deaf community, all services are available with access through TTY.

Clients can walk-in to the office Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at 72 Concord Street, Manchester. An advocate will be made available (typically 10 minutes or less)


About this Author

Pat Grossmith

Pat Grossmith is a freelance reporter.