After approximately a year and a half long investigation, the Office of the Attorney General, New Hampshire State Police and Durham Police Department deemed the death of Dover resident Michael Barrett, 22, an act of self-defense by Durham resident Bailey Manning.
On March 11, 2017, Durham Police responded to a 911 call around 1 a.m. reporting a disturbance at 18 Edgewood Road. Police reported finding Barrett severely injured by the door of the residence. After failed attempts of resuscitation, Barrett was pronounced dead later that morning at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital. The autopsy revealed that the cause of death was “a stab wound to the back.”
Prior to the release of a press release detailing the investigation earlier this month, the reason for the attack or the specific events of the evening were unknown to the public.
According to the report, Barrett and Manning knew each other from living near one another as children and playing baseball together. They reconnected at a party two weeks before Barrett’s death.
Numerous testimonies state Barrett and his friend Carter Moore came over to Manning’s residence in order to look at and purchase cocaine. Manning and Barrett proceeded to use the cocaine and then moved into the other room to engage in conversation and drink. Moore left the residence to go to a party, and Manning said that he would eventually give Barrett a ride home.
According to Manning’s testimony, around 45 minutes after Moore left, Manning offered to give Barrett a ride home. It was at this point that both Manning and his roommate Edward Suraci said that “Barrett completely changes at this point and looked like ‘nobody was home.’”
The testimonies state that Barrett pushed Manning into the wall and started saying things in regard to killing both Manning and Suraci. The two state that Barrett started attacking Manning with various household objects. Manning yelled at Suraci to call police and claimed he stabbed Barrett with a knife to defend himself.
The report states there is no found motivation for Barrett’s attack on Manning, and that “consistent information gathered states that there was no hostility between Barrett and Manning or other motive to attack one another.” The only explanation in the report cites information from the autopsy stating the “toxicology report suggest that Barrett’s behavior could have been drug induced.”
Barrett’s father told Foster’s Daily Democrat he disagrees with the report and said that Manning “murdered my son,” and believes a robbery took place to trigger Barrett’s reaction.
Per the report, “the force used by Manning in response to Barrett’s attack was reasonable and not excessive under the circumstances;” it also claims the action is legal under New Hampshire’s self-defense law, which states, “A person is justified in using a deadly force when he reasonable believes that such other person is about to use unlawful, deadly force against the actor or a third party.”
Manning will not face any homicide charges.