Michael Addison was sentenced to death yesterday for the murder of Manchester, N.H., police Officer Michael Briggs, making him the first New Hampshire man to face execution in nearly 50 years, reports the Concord Monitor. The jury deliberated for just over two days after hearing testimony that stretched over nine weeks. Addison, 28, stood calmly at the defense table and watched the jury as the verdict was read, showing no visible reaction to the news. But the gallery packed full with police officers and members of Briggs’s family let out a muted sigh, as tears streamed down many faces. No members of Addison’s family were present.
Addison faces execution for fatally shooting Briggs in a Manchester alley two years ago to escape arrest for a series of gun-related crimes. According to police testimony, Briggs pursued Addison into the alley and said “Stop, police” three times before Addison slowed, turned and felled the officer with a single shot to the head. Addison is the first man to be sentenced to death for the murder of a police officer in New Hampshire history. He is the first man sentenced to death here since the U.S. Supreme Court briefly abolished capital punishment in 1972. He could become the first New Hampshire man executed since 1939.