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Snapchat screenshot helped police make arrests

A Snapchat screenshot led to the arrests of two UNH students involved in a stabbing early Saturday morning, according to a court affidavit.

Matthew Gibbons and Eric Denning were released on bail Monday after both were arrested for involvement in a stabbing that took place at 17 Madbury Road, leaving a 20-year-old UNH student in critical condition with two stab wounds.

Gibbons, 20, of Salem, was released Monday morning on $100,000 cash bail. Gibbons is charged with first-degree assault and allegedly stabbed the victim. He is scheduled to be arraigned on March 7.

Denning, 21, also of Salem, was arraigned Monday at Strafford Superior Court on a second-degree assault charge and criminal liability. Denning was released on $50,000 personal recognizance bail.

The altercation happened at 12:45 a.m. on Saturday Feb. 20 where police found the victim lying in a third floor hallway of the Madbury Commons apartment complex, according to a court affidavit.

A third floor resident received a Snapchat that showed Gibbons holding a knife with blood on his hands and Denning also showing a bloody hand. Gibbons allegedly sent the photo, the affidavit said. After screenshotting the photo, the witness helped police identify Gibbons and Denning.

Durham police took Gibbons into custody at his 23 Main Street apartment, and Denning into custody at 24 Madbury Road.

Both men waived their Miranda rights at the Durham police station, according to the affidavit. 

Denning admitted to punching someone during the altercation while Gibbons said he felt threatened and pulled out his pocketknife.

At Denning’s arraignment Monday morning, his attorney, Adam Bernstein, said Denning’s involvement was not in the stabbing, but rather a separate altercation off to the side.

Bernstein referred to Denning as a “great kid” with a “great family.” He noted Denning was a member of the UNH men’s club volleyball team and an engineering student with top grades.

Denning has been placed in a county community corrections program and will be required to live at home in Salem while wearing a GPS tracking device.

Both Denning and Gibbons are currently suspended from the university.

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