Man accused of stabbing state trooper in New Salem enters not guilty plea, held without bail


The person accused of stabbing state trooper, Mark Whitcomb in New Salem on October 19, was arraigned in Orange District Court on multiple charges Tuesday. 

According to Mary Carey, spokeswoman for the Northwestern District Attorney’s office, 18-year-old Nghia Le of New Hampshire entered a not guilty plea in court on the following charges:

  • Assault with intent to murder
  • Assault and battery with a dangerous weapon
  • Assault with a dangerous weapon
  • Armed carjacking
  • Assault and battery upon a police officer
  • Receiving stolen property valued at over $1,200
  • Reckless operation of a motor vehicle
  • Failure to stop for police
  • Resisting arrest

Le was non-responsive when the judge spoke to him in court. His court-appointed attorney entered the not guilty plea on his behalf.

Read More: State trooper, suspect recovering after violent pursuit from Vermont into New Salem

More than two dozen State Troopers were in the courtroom to show support for Whitcomb, who had a large wound on his head and was still in a sling. 

According to court documents, Le attacked Whitcomb with a knife after a car chase. 

Northwestern First Assistant District Attorney Steven Gagne said Trooper Whitcomb wasn’t even able to get out of his police cruiser before Lee ran up to it, opened the door, and stabbed him about eight times. 

“Trooper Whitcomb was able to escape the cruiser,” said Gagne. “He stumbled off to the distance just to get away from this guy, and then Lee jumped into the cruiser and tried to carjack a state police cruiser.”

Gagne said an Erving Police officer shot Le multiple times before he was able to be arrested. The judge ordered the 18-year-old be held without bail. 

Le will have a competency exam this week by a forensic psychologist at the Franklin County House of Corrections. 

The outcome of that exam will be known on November 5. 


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