LACONIA — A Belknap County Superior Court judge denied an accused pot grower's request to depose his former landlord about what she may have seen at his Governor's Island rental home and what and when she told the New Hampshire State Police about it.
Judge James O'Neill ruled Thursday that Corey LaPlante, 28, acting through his attorney Mark Sisti, had failed to meet his burden for compelling property owner Jennifer Truman to be deposed.
"Upon review, the court find a deposition of Ms. Truman is inappropriate because the defendant has failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that her deposition is necessary," he wrote.
He noted that during the motion hearings that the N.H. Assistant Attorney General James Vara has already provided Sisti with all discovery related to Truman, including her contact information and that he had made no effort to contact her.
Sisti asserts that Truman may have been acting as an agent of the police when she walked through LaPlante's home and reported what she saw to the police. His argument is that if she had previously been on the property without notifying LaPlante, then her second visit is tantamount to a warrant-less search of his client's home.
O'Neill agreed with Vara who said that any information Sisti seeks is available through other investigatory methods and a deposition is not warranted.
Truman lives in another state and Vara pointed out during the hearing that a court ordered deposition could be time consuming and expensive.
LaPlante is charged with two counts of manufacturing a controlled drug, two counts of possession of a controlled drug with intent to distribute it, and one count of possession of a controlled drug.
After raiding the home in October of 2013, members of the N.H. Drug Task Force found what they described as a "significant" marijuana growing operation, marijuana, hashish, six weapons and $33,000 in cash.
LaPlante is free on bail.