LACONIA — A city man was ordered held on $20,000 cash-only bail in circuit court yesterday after he allegedly threatened to kill his girlfriend's two-year-old son when she said she was going to call the police during an early Wednesday morning argument.
Joseph A. Levin, 28, of 322 Union Avenue is charged with one count of felony-level criminal threatening with the use of a deadly weapon and one felony count of criminal threatening for intimidation purposes.
"If you call the cops your (explicative) son will be gone," Levin allegedly said while he was brandishing a utility blade.
In the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division yesterday, city Prosecutor James Sawyer said the woman was able to get to a neighbor's apartment and it was the neighbor who called the police. The alleged crimes took place at 4 a.m.
Affidavits said the victim told police about the incident and allowed them to search her home for the weapon. Police found a green-handled utility knife atop the refrigerator, which she identified as the one Levin allegedly used to threaten her.
The victim also told police that Levin was a "self-admitted" member of the "Crips" street gang, according to affidavits. She told police that he had threatened to kill her or have her killed in the past.
In arguing for $20,000 cash bail, Sawyer recounted Levin's criminal history that he described as lengthy and violent.
According to records from Belknap County Superior Court, Levin's record included a conviction for arson in 2007 in which Levin pleaded guilty to causing an explosion that burned a woman's car and a 2009 conviction for felony-level criminal threatening that also involved a woman, a knife, and at least one child.
Levin was sentenced to 2-to-5 years in N.H. State Prison for the arson and 1 1/2 to 3 years for the 2009 criminal threatening.
He also has multiple convictions that include simple assault, stalking, criminal mischief, theft of services, and hindering apprehension.
Kate Geraci represented Levin and argued he was indigent and unable to post any kind of cash bail. She said he would agree to any bail conditions imposed on him by the judge. Geraci said Levin disputes the charges.
Geraci said Levin has long-standing mental health problems. She said he has epilepsy from which he suffers regular grand mal seizures. She said he was close to getting some health insurance and once obtained, would be able to get an evaluation at Genesis Behavioral Health.
She said he needs medication for the epilepsy and would be unable to get it in jail.
Despite being told not to talk, Levin kept interrupting Judge Jim Carroll while he ordering cash bail and its conditions.
"Your Honor... there's no way I can post this bail. It took me two years to get Social Security (disability) and I've got all these plans to get my meds," Levin said.
Carroll said he found it impossible not to set cash bail considering the circumstances alleged by the victim and the state.
At that point, Levin asked if he could be housed in Merrimack County Jail. Carroll replied that he could speak with Geraci after the arraignment and reappear before him later if he wanted.