Rama sentenced to 12 months for role in February stabbing

LACONIA — A local man was sentenced to serve 12 months in the Belknap County House of Corrections for his role in the stabbing of a Belmont man in February.

Robert Rama, 22, whose last address was in Concord, was also ordered to pay a total $38,000 for the victim's medical bills joint and severably with co-defendent John J. Drouin, 27, of Laconia.

On July 23, Drouin was sentenced to serve 5 to 12 years in the N.H. State Prison for two felony counts of first-degree assault.

At Thursday's plea and sentencing hearing before Judge David Garfunkle, Asst. Belknap County Prosecutor Carley Ahern said Rama's role in the stabbing of Corey Cromwell and John Hynes was minimal and that it was Drouin who stabbed the two men.

Ahern said Rama and Drouin waited for Cormwell, Hynes and Cromwell's girlfriend in a common bathroom on Route 3 in Belmont. She said the two ambushed the other three and Cromwell was stabbed by Drouin multiple times in the neck. She said Cormwell's tongue was nearly severed.

Ahern noted that Rama was also charged with simple assault for grabbing Cromwell's girlfriend when she tried to help him, but said there could be some testimony at trial that Rama knew the woman and was actually trying to her save her from harm during the fracas.

At the same time, Rama also pleaded guilty to two unrelated Laconia charges stemming from a car accident in January where he left the scene and tried to hide his car in a garage.

Ahern said police were able to trace the car back to Rama when they found his license plate in a snowbank.

He is ordered to pay $1,463 in restitution to Public Service of New Hampshire for the telephone pole he struck.

Judge Garfunkle initially seemed hesitant to accept the plea bargain which Ahern justified by saying he faces as much as 15 years in prison should he re-offend after his release from the Belknap County jail.

Rama's attorney Ted Barnes also noted that Rama used the 158 days he spent in jail awaiting trial wisely by taking advantage of every program that was available to him.

"You should consider yourself very fortunate," said Judge Garfunkle. "These are very serious matters and I have some serious thoughts about how you're going to conduct yourself."