Two violent crimes committed in Durham over break

Bret Belden

In the early days leading up to and beginning what UNH students knew to be spring break, Durham experienced two successive counts of violent crime.

The first event of violent crime was as an alleged robbery that occurred on the morning of Friday, March 10, at the Emery Farm stand on Route 4, according to Durham Deputy Police Chief Rene Kelley. A 46-year-old man and resident of Bristol, New Hampshire, later identified as Joshua Kenneth Flynn, who also goes by the alias of Joshua Kenneth Anderson, had entered the farm stand armed with a knife and tied up three victims, one of whom he sexually assaulted before fleeing the scene in a vehicle he had stolen from one of the victims. According to Foster’s Daily Democrat, Flynn left a car at the crime scene that police found registered under his alias.   

After receiving a call at 11:27 a.m., Durham officers responded and eventually the Portsmouth Police Department was able to track him at the C&J Trailways bus station, where he was taken into custody. According to Kelley, Flynn has been charged with aggravated felonious sexual assault, three counts of kidnapping, armed robbery and theft of a motor vehicle.  He was also charged with receiving stolen property by the Portsmouth Police Department. He is a suspect in numerous armed robberies that had occurred throughout Strafford County in the weeks preceding the event. Flynn has been arraigned in superior court and is being held on $500,000 cash only bail. 

The second crime occurred the following day in the early morning hours of Saturday, March 11, on 18 Edgewood Road where 22-year-old Michael Barrett, of Dover, was found dead. According to a news release from the Office of the New Hampshire Attorney General, the cause of death was determined to be a result of a stab wound and has been determined a homicide.

The news release states, “While the circumstances are still under investigation, part of the investigation includes whether this incident involved the use of self-defense.”

As confirmed by Chief Kelley, the case is currently still under investigation by the Major Crime Unit of the New Hampshire State Police.

“We are very fortunate in our collective communities of Durham and the University of New Hampshire that violent crime is a rare occurrence,” Kelley said.  “Having said that, no community is immune from violence and it is unfortunate that these two events happened on successive days.”