No bail for man charged in murder of 2-year-old New Hampshire boy

MANCHESTER, N.H. (WHDH) - MANCHESTER, N.H. (WHDH) – A man charged in the murder of a 2-year-old boy in Manchester, New Hampshire, was ordered held without bail Thursday after waiving his arraignment.

Mark Heath, 32, was slated to appear in Manchester Superior Court, but officials said he waived his right to appear before a judge.

“He has waived his right to arraignment and the court has set no bail in his case,” Assistant Attorney General Susan Morell said. “He will not be bailed from the Hillsboro County House of Corrections.”

Heath is charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the death of Jacob Pelletier. One charge claims Heath acted knowingly and the second charge claims he acted recklessly.

Officers responded to 551 Howe Street around 11:30 a.m. Monday for a report of an unconscious toddler. The boy was taken to Elliot Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald said an autopsy found that Jacob died from blunt force trauma to the abdomen. His death was ruled a homicide.

“Everyone’s really upset right now,” Jacob’s great grandfather said as he left the courthouse.

The toddler lived with his mother, along with Heath in a second-floor apartment on Howe Street. Neighbors said Heath was his mother’s boyfriend. It’s not clear the boy’s mother was home at the time of the alleged murder.

Heath is no stranger to the law, according to court officials. He’s been arrested at least five times since 2003, once for animal cruelty.

“It’s a child. Take out your aggression in another way. Get counseling, get help, do something,” neighbor Eric Landry said.

All felony cases in New Hampshire are required to be heard by a grand jury. The process could take months.

Police have not commented on a motive. Few details are being released as police continue to investigate.

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