A 17-year-old boy from Merrimack County, New Hampshire, has been indicted by a grand jury on charges of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of his sister-in-law and her two young sons, according to a statement released by State Attorney General John M. Formella on Wednesday. The accused, Eric Sweeney, is alleged to have killed 25-year-old Kassandra Sweeney and her sons, Benjamin and Mason, aged 4 and 1, respectively.
In addition to the murder charges, Sweeney has also been indicted for falsifying physical evidence. He is accused of disposing of or destroying the Taurus .40 caliber handgun believed to have been used in the killings.
The tragic incident unfolded on August 3, 2022, when police were summoned to a residence in Northfield, a town located approximately 20 miles north of Concord. Upon arrival, officers discovered the bodies of the three victims, each bearing a single gunshot wound. A subsequent medical examination confirmed the deaths as homicides.
The arrest of Eric Sweeney was announced by the Attorney General’s office and local law enforcement eight days after the murders. However, due to his age, his identity was initially withheld. At the time of the alleged killings, Sweeney had just turned 16. The motive behind the murders remains undisclosed.
In a chilling prelude to the murders, Sean Sweeney, Kassandra’s husband and father to Benjamin and Mason, had expressed concerns for his family’s safety. Just 12 days prior to the killings, he had discovered weapons in his garage and nearby woods, as reported by the New Hampshire Union Leader, citing police records.
Sean had contacted the police twice in the months leading up to the murders, once in early June and again in late July, reporting issues with an individual close to the family. The first call was regarding a stolen car, and the second pertained to the discovered weapons. The identity of the individual in question was not disclosed in the police logs. Although no arrests were made at the time, the individual had assured a police officer that he would alter his behavior.
In the aftermath of the shootings, Senior Assistant Attorney General Geoffrey Ward commended Sean Sweeney for his cooperation, noting his profound devastation.
In the wake of the tragedy, a GoFundMe page was established by family member Alizabeth Dawson to cover memorial costs and living expenses. The campaign has since raised over $50,000. Dawson described the day of the murders as the day her family “received some of the worst and most devastating news imaginable.” She remembered her cousin Kassandra as “one of the most genuine and beautiful people you could ever meet” and her sons as “two beautiful baby boys.”
The Boston Globe reported that the indictment was issued on September 13, and Eric Sweeney is scheduled to appear in court on November 3.