Jailed woman charged with bigamy in Londonderry

Samantha Grenier

LONDONDERRY — A Manchester woman already serving a 15-year jail sentence for child neglect is facing charges of bigamy.

Samantha Grenier, 28, was arrested Friday at the State Prison for Women in Goffstown for alleged bigamy, falsifying physical evidence and tampering with public or private records.

A police report details Genier's history with 26-year-old Brendon McCune, who police say she married at Londonderry Town Hall last year despite already being married to James Grenier, who is also serving a 15-year jail sentence for child neglect.

According to investigators, Samantha Grenier created a fake email address and pretended to be her lawyer Robin Melone in order to convince McCune that getting married in the midst of the trial would lead to a lighter sentence.

In an email dated April 15, 2017, Grenier tells McCune that it would help convince the judge that "Samantha is making the right choices for herself and her children."

"I know this whole thing is confusing for both you and Samantha. But if you and Samantha do go through with getting married by state law you can do, you could make it so Samantha doesn't go to prison (sic)," Grenier wrote.

The two were married by at Londonderry Town Hall on April 18.

Six months later, on Oct. 3, both Samantha and her husband James Grenier were each sentenced to 15 years in jail.

Prosecutors explained during the trial that Manchester police were called to the couple's apartment on Nov. 21, 2016 for a welfare check on a man.

What they reported finding were two children living in filth.

A 4-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl were in separate rooms covered in feces and urine, prosecutors said.

Police conducting the welfare check testified that the boy was strapped to a mattress and the girl was in a crib with a laptop that played the movie "Frozen" on repeat while Grenier was at work.

Grenier pleaded for help from the judge.

"I was stressed and overwhelmed," she said. "I know I need help, and I really do want the help. I want to be a better daughter, wife, mother and friend. Please, your honor, help me get the help that I need."

Londonderry police Detective Chris Olson said his department has been investigating Grenier since July 2017, after McCune's grandmother became suspicious. 

Investigators learned that Grenier and McCune dated for eight months in 2010. Shortly after they broke up, Grenier said she was pregnant with McCune's child, which was later proven to be a lie following a DNA test.

The child — whose father is not named in court documents — is said to have been adopted by a family in Illinois.

McCune told investigators that Grenier contradicted herself often since the two met.

At one point, he told police that Grenier alleged the child was his, and that a second DNA test submitted for testing without his knowledge proved it.

After believing Grenier in April 2017, McCune asked his grandmother, Margaret McCune, for money to obtain custody of the child.

She became increasingly suspicious about Grenier's story, especially when her grandson married the woman quickly and after the email correspondence.

Margaret McCune began probing the interactions on her own, police said, leading her to Grenier's real attorney, who confirmed that she had never reached out to the 26-year-old McCune.

"This was the moment Brandon realized something odd was going on," police wrote in an affidavit.

The Justice of the Peace that married McCune and Grenier, Sherry Farrell, told police that during the marriage ceremony she was bothered by the fact that "Brandon was taking everything very seriously and that Samantha was belittling him about different questions and things they had to review."

Farrell told investigators that she asked if either of the two were married, to which they both replied no.

Farrell has married over 100 couples, she said, and "this was the first time she had sever seen this" type of mismatched behavior.

Grenier was arraigned on the charges of bigamy, falsifying physical evidence and tampering with public or private records Tuesday morning.

Another court date was not immediately set.

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