AG: Estranged husband accused of fatally shooting wife before Derry, NH house fire

CONCORD, New Hampshire — A New Hampshire man will face a first-degree murder charge, accused of shooting his estranged wife in the head before their Derry home went up in flames, the New Hampshire Attorney General said Tuesday.

Manoel Viana, 57, is fighting for his life at a Boston hospital after the Sunday night fire at the home, where first responders found the body of Lynn Marie Viana, 53, New Hampshire Deputy Attorney General Jane Young said.

An autopsy on Tuesday found that Lynn Marie’s cause of death “was a single gunshot wound to her head” and a medical examiner determined that her manner of death is homicide, Young said.

Investigators determined that Lynn Marie Viana and her husband, Manoel Viana, had been estranged.

“During a custody exchange of their adult child at Mr. Viana’s 27 Mt. Pleasant Street residence on April 4, 2021, Mr. Viana invited Ms. Viana inside the residence. Shortly after Ms. Viana entered Mr. Viana’s residence, two noises, consistent with gunshots, were heard from within the residence,” Young said.

A short time later, the house was engulfed in fire. Investigators found ignitable liquids inside the home and “on or around Ms. Viana’s body,” Young said.

Manoel Viana is still receiving medical treatment for life-threatening injuries at a Boston hospital, and he suffered apparent burns and trauma to his head, Young said.

“The Office of the Attorney General announces its intent, should Mr. Viana recover from his injuries, to seek a charge of first degree murder... with the allegation that he purposely caused the death of Lynn Marie Viana by shooting Ms. Viana in the head,” Young said.

The murder investigation is ongoing.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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