Riley appears in court on homicide charges

LACONIA – A former Gilford man who is charged in the Monday morning strangling death of a man who lived in the same support home as he did on McGrath Street is being held without bail after appearing by video in district court yesterday.
Kasey Riley, 19, of 24 McGrath St. is charged with one count of second-degree murder for recklessly and with extreme indifference causing the death of 27-year-old Zachary March.
After Riley's appearance, Prosecuting Atty. Geoffrey Ward said "reckless" in this context means Riley was allegedly aware of a substantial risk to March but chose to act anyway. He declined to comment on the homicide saying only it was "within the first 48 hours" and still a very active investigation.
Public Defender Jesse Friedman, who was in the 4th Circuit Court yesterday morning, and Public Defender John Bresaw, who was with Riley in the video conference room at the Belknap County House of Corrections, declined a public reading of the charge and said they would argue bail at a later date.
Friedman challenged the state's motion to seal the affidavits that support their decision to arrest and charge Riley with March's murder. He said Judge Jim Carroll granted the state's motion to seal them before Riley was arrested and charged.
Without the state's affidavits, Friedman said he could not represent his client with the zealousness he deserves under both state and federal law.
"Just because it's a homicide it doesn't change the Constitution," Friedman said, arguing for the disclosure of the affidavits charging that the prosecution is keeping "secret" information as to why Riley was arrested and is being held without bail.
"The state holds the key. They chose when to arrest, " he said, referring to the prosecution's option to arrest someone and filed charges when ever they want.
With members of March's family sitting in the row behind them lawyers Geoffrey Ward and Jay McCormack argued the defense has no "actual authority" to have the information.
Freidman contended the state's has no right to withhold the information from the Riley's lawyers. He said it was Riley's fundamental right under the N.H. Constitution and the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to have a justification for his arrest and detention without the possibility of bail.
Friedman filed a written motion to have the affidavits supplied to his office and Judge Jim Carroll ruled the state has two days – or until Thursday at noon - to respond to the motion in writing. He promised a ruling the same afternoon.
A second motion to make the affidavits available to the public was filed by the Concord Monitor under the Right To Know law.
During his appearance, Riley stood silently next to Bresaw, and stared into the video monitor.
Laconia Police responded to 24 McGrath Street Monday at 1:42 a.m. and found March unresponsive, according to a press release issued by the N.H. Attorney General's Office. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of death was strangulation.
The same media release said Riley was in the house when police arrived.
Laconia Police said yesterday they have had previous interactions with March and Riley but Lt. Rich Simmons said neither had ever been charged with any crime by his department. Simmons declined further comment.
The Sun has also learned that as of May 22, Riley was living at 21 Academy St. At press time it is not known why Riley left Academy Street.

Twenty-four McGrath Street, according to Genesis Executive Director Maggie Pritchard, is a home for up to 10 adults who face potential homelessness and who may have emotion and/or mental issues. She declined to comment specifically on either Riley or March, citing federal-mandated medical privacy laws.