EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

August 23, 2013

AG rules man killed neighbors, self

CONCORD — When Shawn Burne was found dead in his apartment of an intentional drug overdose in June, Nashua police discovered a note in which he proclaimed he didn’t kill the elderly couple who lived next door.

New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster’s office said yesterday, however, that all evidence points to him as the only suspect.

A visiting nurse discovered the bodies of William Grant, 83, and Eleanor Grant, 78, inside their longtime home on June 17. Autopsies showed they died of multiple stab wounds.

Police said the investigation led to Burne, a 37-year-old who was known to the Nashua Police Department and who lived on the second floor of a two-story apartment house next to the Grants.

Authorities did not say what specific evidence linked Burne, whose body was found June 26, to the deaths. Police didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking comment and Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffery Strelzin said he wasn’t allowed to comment further.

Burne’s stepmother, Paula Burne, told The Associated Press that she couldn’t believe Shawn Burne could turn violent, but acknowledged he fought with drug and alcohol addiction.

“To know Shawn was to know that he was a sweet guy,” she said from her home in Tucson, Ariz., where she and her husband, Richard, live. “I don’t think he’s capable of that, but anybody can do anything when they’re under the influence of drugs and alcohol.”

She last talked to Shawn in December and everything seemed fine. She said Shawn had two children, was unable to work and collected disability.

“I can’t picture Shawn hurting anyone,” she said.

The attorney general said in a news release that “very quickly” after the Grants were found dead, evidence showed Burne had been in possession of property belonging to them and that he had been in their home after they died.

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