According to a Law and Crime report on Monday, September 25, 2023, a dispute over $40 worth of unfinished yard work has led to an attempted murder charge for a New Hampshire man accused of violently attacking his brother-in-law.
In April 2022, Adrian Demers was hired by his brother-in-law to do yardwork at the brother-in-law’s home in Brentwood, New Hampshire. After completing some of the work, Demers went to collect the agreed-upon $200 payment.
However, his brother-in-law felt the work was not fully finished and only paid Demers $160, saying he would pay the remaining $40 once the job was complete.
This disagreement allegedly enraged Demers, who then pushed his brother-in-law to the ground and proceeded to kick and punch him repeatedly in the head and ribs.
During the assault, the brother-in-law’s pocketknife fell off of him. Demers then allegedly grabbed the knife and stabbed his relative in the head multiple times.
The brother-in-law later told police that at first, he didn’t realize he was being stabbed, thinking the sharp pains were from being hit with a brick. He curled into a fetal position until Demers finally stopped the attack.
The brother-in-law also said he had a gun on his waistband that fell off during the fight, which Demers then grabbed before fleeing the scene.
Demers was arrested and charged with attempted second-degree murder, four counts of first-degree assault, criminal threatening with a deadly weapon, and theft of a firearm.
During his initial court appearance in April, Demers angrily contested the allegations and had to be muted by the judge. In July, both the prosecution and defense agreed that Demers was not competent to stand trial at that time.
The judge ordered a mental health evaluation and competency restoration treatment, noting competency could potentially be restored within a year.
It is unclear if Demers has since been deemed competent, but in September a grand jury indicted him on the attempted murder and multiple assault charges.
His trial is scheduled for January 2024. If convicted of attempted second-degree murder, Demers faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. Each felony assault charge carries an additional 7 to 15 years.
Demers also has a criminal record, which led to him being held without bail after his arrest. The violent attack apparently stemmed from a minor disagreement between in-laws over a small amount of yardwork compensation.
Demers now potentially faces spending the rest of his life incarcerated for his explosive reaction.