Arrest made in stabbing death in Hooksett

·2 min read

Jul. 25—Authorities arrested a homeless man accused of stabbing another man to death as they walked together down Main Street in Hooksett late Saturday night.

Dillon Sleeper, 26, was charged Sunday night with one count of second-degree murder for recklessly causing the death of Jason Wirtz "by stabbing him with a knife" in the neck, according to court documents.

The two men were walking together in the area of 66 Main St. at the time of the stabbing, said Senior Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Agati. He did not say what a possible motive could be.

Sleeper, who previously lived in Franklin, waived his arraignment Monday afternoon at Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord and is being held without bail.

Just after midnight Sunday, Wirtz, 45, was found lying partially in the road, unresponsive and bleeding from his neck, according to a news release.

Wirtz was brought to Elliot Hospital in Manchester, where he was pronounced dead.

According to his obituary, Wirtz lived in Manchester.

An autopsy Sunday determined the cause of Wirtz's death was a single stab wound to the neck, and the manner of death was homicide, according to the news release.

In April, Wirtz was arrested in Manchester on a charge of nighttime burglary and simple assault. In June, he was arrested for possession of methamphetamine, also in Manchester, according to court records.

The murder investigation is ongoing. State police conducted searches in the area of the crime scene Monday.

An affidavit on the arrest has been sealed.

Two weeks ago, Sleeper was charged with stealing a 2020 Kia Optima left running at a gas station in Epsom, according to court documents. A police report said Sleeper was homeless and staying with a co-worker who worked with him at a local diner.

Sleeper told police he had only been in the car, which was later found in Concord, but denied driving it, according to the report.

"The photograph of Mr. Sleeper shows that he is wearing the same shirt as when he entered Mr. Gas+ and when he left in (the vehicle)," the report reads.

Sleeper is being represented by public defender Vanessa Gelinas.

jphelps@unionleader.com