LACONIA — A Belknap County Judge ruled last week that a man who was convicted of negligent homicide for the 2011 beating and kicking death of Leo LaPierre had not provided sufficient evidence to have his motion granted for DNA testing of items from a room at the trailer where the incident took place.
It was the seventh time that Jason Durgin, 41, has filed a motion with the court in connection with case.
In a hand-written motion Durgin offered to pay for DNA testing of a samples from a bloody pillowcase, bloody bed sheets and a bloody pool cue which were in the bedroom of a woman who lived in the trailer.
The state Attorney General's office replied to the motion and pointed out that Durgin did not choose to have those samples tested prior to the trial.
In June 2012 a Belknap County jury convicted Durgin of negligent homicide for the 2011 beating and kicking death of LaPierre – a transient who occasionally stayed in the trailer Durgin rented behind Quik Laundry on South Main Street.
LaPierre was found unconscious by some friends of one of Durgin's other roommates and she called the police. He was taken to Lakes Region General Hospital and flown to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon where he died about six days later without regaining consciousness.
When police first arrived at the home around 9:30 a.m., Durgin and his roommate refused to come out of the trailer. The roommate testified at his trial that he held her down on the bed and refused to let her go to the door and speak with the police. Eventually the two came out of the trailer without further incident.
The roommate also testified that the night before, she saw Durgin punch and kick LaPierre during an argument.
After his conviction, Durgin received the maximum sentence of 3½ to 7 years in State Prison. Credited with 406 days of pre-trial confinement, Durgin served 2½ years and was released on parole on Nov. 13, 2014.
In December of 2013, the N.H. Supreme Court upheld Durgin's conviction in a unanimous decision. He had argued that his defense team had been prohibited from offering an alternative theory of the crime and that one of the witnesses against him had allegedly unlawfully used his EBT card.
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