N.H. Shooting Suspect: I Needed Money

The Associated Press
Friday, July 6, 2007; 12:04 AM

SOUTH PARIS, Maine -- A man suspected in the deaths of three people at a New Hampshire outdoors equipment store told reporters outside court Thursday that he did it because he "needed the money." He also blamed prison officials for releasing him after an earlier theft sentence, saying he warned them he would re-offend.

Michael Woodbury spoke to reporters as he was being led across a parking lot from the Oxford County jail to the courthouse to be arraigned as a fugitive from justice.

It was a "busted robbery," Woodbury, 31, said of the shootings.

A reporter asked him, "Did you kill those three people?"

"Unfortunately, I did," Woodbury answered.

Asked why, Woodbury replied: "Needed the money."

In court, Woodbury waived extradition to New Hampshire. He tried to plead guilty to a firearms charge, but that charge was dropped. New Hampshire authorities immediately transported Woodbury back to the state, where he is scheduled to be arraigned on three counts of first degree murder on Friday.

Woodbury was arrested in Maine on Tuesday, the day after three men were shot at the store in Conway, N.H. The shooting prompted a massive manhunt involving officers from several agencies, a helicopter and search dogs. Woodbury was found walking along railroad tracks in Fryeburg, Maine, about five miles away. He is from Windham, Maine.

The shooting victims were James Walker, 34, manager of the Army Barracks store; William Jones, 25, of Walpole, Mass.; and Gary Jones, 23, of Plymouth, Mass. The Massachusetts men were not related, but relatives said the two friends were as close as brothers. They had been hiking and had stopped at the outdoors gear shop on their way home.

On his way out of court, Woodbury spoke out again, criticizing Maine prison officials and saying he had told them he was a threat to re-offend. He had been released from the Maine State Prison in May after serving five years for robbery and theft.

"I warned them this (expletive) would happen," Woodbury said.

He said Maine prison officials did not give him the medication or psychiatric help he needed. His father has described him as mentally ill.

CONTINUED     1        >

© 2007 The Associated Press