NJ man pleads not guilty to double-murders after COVID early release
An Asbury Park man charged with killing two people in New Hampshire while on early release from prison has pleaded not guilty to two first-degree murder charges.
Theodore Luckey, 42, was charged with killing 28-year-old Nathan Cashman, 28, who officials said was found dead in the lobby of the Country Inn and Suites in Bedford, New Hampshire on Aug. 21 with multiple "chop wounds of the head, neck and body."
He is also charged with the death of David Hanford, 60, of Seaside Heights, who was found strangled in a room of the hotel.
The 6 feet 7 inch Luckey made his first in-person appearance in Hillsborough County Court since his arrest to enter the pleas.
According to the New Jersey Department of Corrections, Luckey was released from prison with parole supervision on May 7 after serving 12 years and one month, with time served in New Hampshire from Oct. 11, 2016, to Feb. 5, 2021.
Luckey was eligible for Public Health Emergency Credits under the law passed in 2020 that freed offenders who had less than a year left in their sentence. The law does not apply to offenders serving time for murder, aggravated sexual assault or other serious sex crimes.
Cashman had been released from prison on Aug. 3 less than a month before he was killed after submitting a handwritten motion asking the court to suspend his sentence because he had "changed his life and way of thinking." His original release date had been Feb. 4, 2024.
Cashman and Luckey were friends, according to a GoFundMe page created for Cashman's funeral. Cashman had taken up bodybuilding before his death and was preparing to compete in his first amateur tournament.
The complaint in the hotel deaths does not explain the relationship between Luckey, Cashman and Hanford or if they met while serving time. The affidavit in the case has been sealed by the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office.
Michael Symons contributed to this report.