$100k cash bail holding assault, gun theft suspect

LACONIA — The man who allegedly entered a couple's apartment Tuesday, beat them, tied them up, and stole money and a gun was ordered held on $100,000 cash-only bail after his appearance in circuit court yesterday.

Kenneth Dukette, 22, of Dewey Street is charged with burglary, criminal threatening (use of a deadly weapon), simple assault, first degree assault, kidnapping, two counts of felony criminal restraint, felony theft by unauthorized taking, and armed robbery for his alleged actions Tuesday afternoon.

"This is beyond the pale," said City Prosecutor Jim Sawyer while making his argument for $100,000 cash-only bail. "It's like something out of a movie."

Dukette's attorney Justin Littlefield had argued that $100,000 cash-only bail was punitive and that his client should be released on $50,000 cash or corporate surety. He said if his client posted bail, he would live in Gilford.

According to affidavits obtained from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division, Dukette, who had covered his face with a white cloth, went into the victim's apartment at 1166 North Main Street and then his bedroom just before 4 p.m. and began hitting him with his fists. At some point he allegedly hit him in the head with the butt end of what the victim told police looked like an Uzi submachine gun.

A second man, said police, was holding a silver revolver and pointing it at the head of the victim's girlfriend. His face was covered by a mask, said police. Dukette allegedly ordered the victim to give him the combination of his gun safe, threatening that "he would shoot both of them."

The male victim knew Dukette but told police he didn't know who the other man was.

The victim also told police he opened the safe after which Dukette ordered him and his girlfriend to their knees where they were both handcuffed and then bound together with a cell phone cord. The victims were forced into the bathroom.

Affidavits said the victim told Dukette he didn't have a Para Ordnance 1911 (a Canadian manufactured handgun) but Dukette found the gun and $440 in a desk door. He allegedly took both.

The victim told police Dukette was "very angry that he had been lied to" and that he put the loaded gun he had just found to his face and told him he was going to shoot him for lying to him.

Dukette and the second man left the apartment and got into a car that the victim described as black with a temporary, paper license plate. The victim told police he thought the car belonged to Dukette's girlfriend. Affidavits said police dispatchers were able to identify the owner of the car as Dukette's girlfriend.

Capt. Matt Canfield said police immediately issued a county-wide Be-On-the-Lookout-For alert for Dukette and the car. He said yesterday that multiple police officers participated in the arrest and since the call came during a shift change, a few officers and all supervisors stayed until Dukette could be apprehended.

At 5:55 p.m. Senior Patrol Officer Bob Cameron spotted the car on Highland Street and followed it out Gilford Ave. to the Gilford line. Canfield said multiple officers, including police from Gilford surrounded the car took Dukette into custody at gun point.

Police said they saw an Uzi-like long gun and a black handgun on the front passenger floor. The barrel of the long gun had what appeared to be blood on it. Both were Airsofts (weapons that propel plastic spheres via a discharge of compressed air).

Police got a search warrant for the car and affidavits said gloves — one set with blood on them — a black sweatshirt, two cell phones, and prescription bottles with the victim's name on them were recovered. Police also found some cash but Canfield said he didn't know if it was the same cash as that taken from the victim.

Canfield said the Para Ordnance gun was not recovered and the second man described to police by the victim was not in custody as of 5 p.m. yesterday.

In court yesterday, Sawyer used the severity of the allegations as justification for the $100,000 cash-bail request.

"If convicted, he faces decades in jail," Sawyer said, arguing that alone was enough reason for Dukette to flee the area as well as present a danger to the general community.

In addition to the new charges, Dukette pleaded guilty to second-degree assault for stabbing a man on May 30, 2010.
Records obtained from the Belknap County Superior Court show Dukette pleaded guilty to stabbing a man who had previously dated his girlfriend at the time.

The victim in that case said Dukette pulled a knife on him during a verbal argument at an apartment on Pleasant Street and he tried to stop Dukette from stabbing him by grabbing him in a bear hug. He said Dukette stabbed him twice in the back.

Charged initially with one count each of first-degree and second-degree assault, Dukette pleaded guilty to second-degree assault on November 17, 2010 in exchange for having the state drop the first-degree assault charge.

He was sentenced to 12 months in the Belknap County House of Corrections with all but 60 days suspended.

One of the conditions of his release was that the balance of the sentence could be brought forward for five years after the date of his conviction. He was also ordered to pay $4,605.48 to Lakes Region General Hospital.

Police ask anyone with any information on the North Main Street incident to call 524-5257.