Former New Hampshire U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte eviscerated Democratic gubernatorial candidates Dan Feltes and Andru Volinsky for pledging to commute the sentence of convicted police killer Michael Addison in a primary debate aired this week.
As New Hampshire’s Attorney General at the time, Ayotte personally prosecuted the 2006 case against Addison, who was convicted of shooting 35-year-old Manchester Police officer Michael Briggs in cold blood when Briggs had not drawn a weapon. Addison’s conviction was unanimously upheld by the New Hampshire Supreme Court in 2015.
In a blistering statement issued Wednesday, Ayotte excoriated Feltes and Volinsky for refusing to stand “against violence directed at our police officers,” and failing to “appreciate the difficulty and danger our police officers face” while praising Governor Chris Sununu for “standing with law enforcement”:
“Today I watched the tape of the Democrats Gubernatorial Debate between Dan Feltes and Andru Volinsky,” she said in a statement. “It is extremely disturbing that both said they would commute the sentence of convicted cop killer Michael Addison who murdered heroic Manchester Police officer Michael Briggs in cold blood.
“Addison is a career criminal who had committed multiple armed robberies the week before he shot Officer Briggs in the head. Addison was convicted by a jury of his peers and his conviction was upheld by the New Hampshire Supreme Court. At a time when law enforcement officers are facing increasingly dangerous situations on a daily basis, our leaders should be standing against violence directed at our police officers, not commuting the sentences of convicted cop killers.
“It is clear that neither Andru Volinksy nor Dan Feltes appreciate the difficulty and danger our police officers face when they put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. I commend Governor Sununu for standing with law enforcement in N.H. and stating clearly that he would never commute Michael Addison’s sentence,” Ayotte said.
Governor Sununu responded to the Democrats’ disturbing pledge on Tuesday, stating he was “shocked,” and would “never support commuting” Addison’s sentence:
“Let me be very clear: I will never support commuting the sentence of a convicted cop killer like Michael Addison. I heard that clip [from the debate]. I was quite shocked by it. I think everybody in Manchester should be quite shocked by it.
“Frankly, I think it sends the absolutely wrong message that when you have a convicted cop killer, you’re going to now decide that you would commute his sentence. I would never support that,” Sununu said.
Officer Briggs left a wife and two young sons behind when he was shot and killed by Addison. One of his sons, Officer Mitchell Briggs, graduated from the New Hampshire Police Academy in 2019.