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Convicted Murderer Wants to Represent Hudson in House, But Address is UPS Box

Free State talk radio host and convicted murderer Mark Edgington, candidate for a House seat representing Hudson and Litchfield, appears to be a recent arrival to the community.

Edgington, 53, is a longtime resident of Westmoreland, a small community outside Keene on the other side of the state. Edgington is a former partner with Free Keene’s Ian Freeman, the jailed Libertarian talk radio host convicted of money laundering and wire fraud.

Years earlier, Edgington spent about eight years in a Florida prison after strangling a man to death.

While he is now registered to vote in Hudson, Edgington’s address on file with the Hudson town clerk’s office is a UPS Store on Lowell Street.

Edgington did not respond to a question about his residency in Hudson. In April on a Hudson Facebook group, Edgington asked the group about a room for rent in either Hudson or Litchfield.

“I am looking for a room to rent in Hudson or Litchfield. I am a 53 yo non drinker and non smoker,” he posted.

Edgington is married with a teen son, a fact he touts as part of his campaign biography. A married father seeking a rented room in a town more than an hour’s drive away is one more curious aspect to Edgington’s candidacy.

Current Rep. Ralph Boehm and former Rep. Kim Rice are also running in the GOP primary in this Republican-leaning district. Campaign professionals say it’s not the type of district where the party would need a candidate to parachute in to fill a vacancy. There are two safe Republican seats and three candidates, including Edgington.

Boehm suspects Edgington’s run is backed by House Majority Leader Jason Osborne (R-Auburn.)

“We do not need a convicted murderer running for office in the Republican Party. And I think it is a disgrace that this person is being encouraged by the House Majority Leader,” Boehm told NHJournal.

Osborne did not respond to a request for comment. The lone Democrat running in the district, Luan Baci, also did not respond to a request for comment.

This isn’t the first time a Free State transplant running as a Republican generated bad headlines. Former House candidate Elliot Axelman was charged this year with assaulting a teen girl at the 2022 PorcFest, the Free State Project’s annual gathering. 

Chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party Chris Ager did not weigh in on Edgington’s suitability as a candidate, saying it is up to voters to decide.

“The people of that district have a choice since it is a contested primary and I’m confident they’re going to make the right choice,” Ager said.

Edgington was 17 when he strangled motel manager Ballapuran Umakanthan, 37, to death, according to his affidavit. Edgington and his accomplice, Carmen Tungate, then 18, planned to beat and rod the motel manager in a Bradenton, Fla. Econo Lodge. When Umakanthan fought back, Tungate held the man down while Edgington strangled him until he saw blood coming out if Umakanthan’s ears, according to the affidavit. 

“35 years ago, at 17, I made some bad choices to hang out with the wrong people. The results were catastrophic. It taught me a lot and I am grateful for the lessons, all of the lessons, that have made me the man I am today,” Edgington told NHJournal via email yesterday.

Edgington pleaded no contest to second degree murder and served less than 10 years of his 30 year sentence. Once released, he attended classes at a Florida community college where he met Freemen. The two would move to New Hampshire to be part of the Free State Project and launch the Free Talk Live show.

Freeman ended up excommunicated from the Free State Project when in 2014 he used his radio show to advocate lowering the age of consent for sexual relations.

NH House Candidate Hopes Voters Can Look Past His Murder Conviction

Republican candidate Mark Edgington is a successful entrepreneur, a volunteer firefighter, and a philanthropic volunteer who helped build an orphanage in Africa. 

He’s also a convicted murderer who helped beat and strangle a motel manager to death during a 1989 robbery in Florida.

“35 years ago, at 17, I made some bad choices to hang out with the wrong people. The results were catastrophic. It taught me a lot and I am grateful for the lessons, all of the lessons, that have made me the man I am today,” Edgington told NHJournal via email.

Edgington, one of the original Free State Project pioneers, is now running for a seat in the state House of Representatives as a Republican to represent the towns of Hudson and Litchfield.



According to an affidavit given by Edgington that was filed in court and contemporaneous press accounts, Edgington was 17 and his accomplice, Carmen Tungate, was 18 when they killed Ballapuran Umakanthan, 37, in a Bradenton, Fla. Econo Lodge. 

Umakanthan had recently fired Tungate for stealing from the business, according to the reports. Tungate and Edgington rented a room at the Econo Lodge and allegedly lured Umakanthan into the room with a complaint about a broken air conditioner. 

Umakanthan entered the room, and Tungate hit him in the head with a pipe, according to Edgington’s affidavit. Umakanthan fought back but was soon overpowered. Tungate held Umakanthan down while Edgington strangled him until he saw blood coming out of the man’s ears, according to his affidavit.

Once Umakanthan was dead, Edgington allegedly helped wrap him in a sheet. He and Tungate then fled.

Tungate flew to Virginia after Edgington gave him a ride to the airport, according to the reports. Edgington stayed in Florida and was arrested the day after the murder while attending summer school classes. 

Tungate evaded the law for a year and even got featured on “America’s Most Wanted.” He was arrested in Virginia when he tried to get a fraudulent birth certificate using the name of a child who had just died. 

Tungate and Edgington pleaded no contest to second-degree murder and were sentenced to 30 years in prison. Tungate ended up serving 10 years, and Edgington eight, thanks to a controversial early release program that has since been rescinded. 

As a free man, Tungate would go on to accumulate a criminal record for exposing himself to teen boys. He was shot and killed in 2009 in Florida in what is still an unsolved murder. 

Once free, Edgington got interested in the radio business and in the late 1990s he met fellow broadcasting student Ian Bernard at community college. The pair also shared Libertarian political beliefs. The two would move to New Hampshire where Bernard, who changed his name to Ian Freeman, as part of the Free State Project.

Edgington and Freeman started Free Talk Live, Freeman’s successful Libertarian talk radio show. The two were early adopters of BitCoin and saw their investment pay off. According to a New York Magazine article, the pair drifted apart as Freeman became more involved in cryptocurrency activism. Edgington also became somewhat disillusioned with the Free State Project movement.

“Ian and I have completely different goals on what we want to do with our cryptocurrency,” Edgington told New York Magazine. “I want to create a place that’s actually free, rather than a bunch of recalcitrant, autistic people running around arguing with each other. People have been in New Hampshire for 20 years, and not much has occurred.”

Freeman is now serving a nine year federal prison sentence for wire fraud and money laundering related to his many BitCoin exchanges. 

Edgington retired from Free Talk Live and said he’s no longer involved in the operations, though he does guest host from time to time. Edgington says he is ready to contribute to his adopted state as a Republican.

“Now I am ready to deepen my commitment to my state and Republican values by serving in the State House. As a firefighter and party volunteer, I have been passionate about serving my community for a long time. I want to protect parents’ rights to raise their kids how they see best, reduce taxes, and defend the Second Amendment,” Edgington said.

New Hampshire does not bar people convicted of felonies from serving in the legislature, so long as they have served their full sentence, including any probation and paying court-ordered fines.