AG: Woman was killed before Weare home invasion


She came back to be closer to her children- she would be alive if she had her children. Fathers Rights to continue "coercive control"

Amplify’d from www.newhampshire.com
WEARE — Before attempting to shoot a man during a home invasion, Jacob Geiser, 18, killed Cheryl Maher, 41, his father’s girlfriend, according to a press release from the Attorney General’s office.
At 5 a.m. on Sunday morning, Geiser committed a home invasion at 477 Concord Stage Road, during which he pointed a gun at a man and pulled the trigger, but the gun misfired and Geiser fled.

But before he invaded the home on Concord Stage Road, Geiser had apparently strangled Maher, who had been living at the home for about three months, according to the press release.

Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Jennie Duval, who performed autopsies on Maher and Geiser, “determined that Cheryl Maher was strangled and suffered a secondary stab wound to the neck, as well as blunt force trauma to the head,” the press release said. “The manner of her death was ruled a homicide.”

When he returned from the home invasion, Geiser then apparently shot himself. Duval said Geiser died of a single gunshot wound to the head. His death was ruled a suicide.

The case remains under investigation.

An earlier story follows below:

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WEARE -- Marge Maher said she does not understand how Jacob Geiser, 19, could have killed her daughter, Cheryl, then shot himself to death Sunday in Weare.

“I'm still in shock,” Maher said from her home in Gilbert, Ariz.

Maher said she was told by police on Monday that Jacob Geiser had shot her 41-year-old daughter, Cheryl Maher, at the 1724 River Road home the two shared with Jacob's father, Joe Geiser.

Maher said she had never met Jacob Geiser, the son of Maher's boyfriend. The Attorney General's Office, which is leading the murder-suicide investigation, has not yet confirmed the identities of the alleged gunman or victim. But Senior Assistant Attorney General Susan G. Morrell said the incident began Sunday around 5 a.m. when police responded to a report of an armed home invasion at 477 Concord Stage Road.

During that invasion, according to neighbors, a man described as in his late teens or early 20s banged on the door of a third-floor apartment and demanded to speak to the father of the person who answered the door. When the father came out, the intruder then allegedly tried to shoot him with the shotgun he was carrying, but the gun misfired. As the father ran to get something to defend himself with, the intruder then allegedly pointed the gun in the face of the man's son, but fled when the man returned.

At 6:30 am, police received another 911 call, this time from the home on River Road where Maher lived with her boyfriend and his two teenage children, Marge Maher said.

“After he went to another house with a gun, Jacob came home and Cheryl was there,” said Marge Maher. “He shot her and then he shot himself.”

Cheryl Maher, described by friends as a strong woman who fought tirelessly for what she believed in, made the news often in the last few years.

Last year, Maher went public with the fact that when she was a teen living in Utah with her parents, Utah State Rep. Kevin Garn, then 28, had sat naked with her in a hot tub when she was just 15.

After confirming that Maher's accusations were true, Garn, a longtime Republican lawmaker and practicing Mormon — as well as Maher's Sunday School teacher and a business partner of Maher's father, Richard — resigned his post last year.

In an interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader, Maher said that she suffered from post traumatic stress disorder and addiction.

After going through a difficult divorce and losing custody of three of her children, Maher spent nearly six months with her parents and a fourth child in Arizona, said Marge Maher.

Earlier this year, after his daughter had befriended Maher on Facebook, State Rep. Gary Hopper of Weare learned that Maher wanted to come back to New Hampshire to be close to her children.

“I invited her to stay here and she lived next door with my mother,” said Hopper. “Her father drove her out, and he seemed happy with where she was going to be.”

However, in March, Maher made headlines again when an Amber Alert was issued after Maher failed to return three of her children to their father, Maher's ex-husband Dr. Eric Knight of Derry. After being arrested and charged with three counts of interfering with child custody, Maher spent three weeks in jail. Hopper said he bailed Maher out “after she'd finally had enough.”

When arrested, Maher was facing 18 outstanding arrest warrants for allegedly violating a domestic violence protective order Knight obtained against her last year, according to Union Leader reports. But after arguing her case to the New Hampshire Supreme Court, the court reversed the protective order on April 14, stating that Knight had not proven that Maher was a credible threat to his safety, according to the ruling. “I've seen Cheryl when she's down, and I've seen her get back up again,” said Hopper.

After winning her case in the Supreme Court, Maher decided to take her message to the public, starting several blogs and a television show called “The Maher Report — Restoring New Hampshire” on Manchester cable access.

“I was very impressed with her,” said fellow talk show host Matt Connarton. “She was just a really good person.”

State Rep. Dan Tamburello of Londonderry said Maher was “passionate about the issues that were important to her. She was always fighting the good fight.”

Ann Marie Banfield of Cornerstone Action said she had come to know Maher through Facebook and eventually met her while attending a recent hearing on the parental notification bill in Concord.

Banfield said that she knew Maher had a difficult life.

“We all make mistakes in our past,” said Banfield. “But she was fighting for her kids.”

Maher's producer for her show, Mike Egan, said he got to know Maher on Facebook and the two became friends. Egan said he met Joe Geiser, Maher's boyfriend, and thought he was, “a really great guy.”

“She's been through so much with this custody battle,” said Heidi Magann, a friend who graduated from high school in Layton, Utah, a few years after Maher. “But it seemed like in the last couple of months she had really found happiness.”

Magann said Maher and Geiser loved riding around New Hampshire together on his motorcycle.

Marge Maher said the family is still trying to figure out what to do next. They would like to have a memorial service in Derry, but plan to bring Maher's body back to Cedar City, Utah, where some of her family lives.

“We are just so sad,” said Marge Maher. “Cheryl will be missed.”
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