DERRY — A Derry man has pleaded not guilty to charges he shot and killed his wife.
Roderick Munstis, 79, was arraigned in Rockingham County District Court in Brentwood Monday after being charged with two counts of second-degree murder, one knowingly and the other recklessly, according to court documents. He is accused of shooting his wife multiple times in the chest with a handgun.
Ellen Munstis, 74, was was found dead early Saturday morning at the couple's home at 151 Bypass 28.
Judge N. William Delker addressed a seemingly confused Munstis Monday and held him without bail. After a short arraignment he was taken back into custody.
As part of the bail order, the judge ordered Munstis not have contact with his wife's family, according to court documents.
Police responded to the Munstis home at approximately 12:03 a.m. on Saturday, after receiving a 911 call from someone at the residence.
The caller identified himself as Roderick Munstis, according to police.
Upon arrival at the home, police say they discovered resident Ellen Munstis dead from apparent gunshot wounds.
Neighbors who knew the couple said they were shocked by the news.
Kirsten Cote, 26, stood near her home at 153 Bypass 28 Saturday morning while the Derry Police Crime Scene Unit remained on scene at the Munstis home. The brown, split-level style home remained roped off.
Cote and her family have lived next door nearly her entire life. She said Roderick and Ellen Munstis were pleasant and good neighbors.
Cote said last Friday night her boyfriend left for work about 9 p.m. and she then put her young son to bed and settled in to watch television.
At about 12:15 a.m. Saturday morning while on the phone with her boyfriend, Cote noticed flashing lights at the Munstis home as police, ambulance and fire officials arrived.
Police came to her door to ask if she heard anything.
"I didn't hear a thing," Cote said, "and I hear everything. I never saw this many cops here."
Cote said she came out to see what was going on next door, she believed she saw police escorting someone away in handcuffs, but could not tell who it was.
"They always have been here as neighbors," Cote said. "We never had an issue with them. They've always been nice, but kept to themselves."
Brenda Reagan also lived next door to the Munstis home for nine years. She called the couple very quiet and devoted to each other.
"They were very kind sweet people," she said, adding Roderick Munstis would do anything for anyone and was a good friend.
After moving away, Reagan said she still saw the couple around town and sent holiday cards.
"This is a real shock to me," Reagan said. "It's so surreal, it seems like I can't get it through my head that this happened. I just want people to know the other side, that this isn't just a couple."