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Defense trying to discredit witness at Tilton rape trial

LACONIA — Lawyers for alleged rapist Thomas Gardner spent most of yesterday reviewing accuser Mark Corente previous criminal record, getting him to confirm that he has a previous conviction for heroin possession in 2007, and calling 9-1-1 to report to police that someone had a gun when it was untrue in 2014.

Corente, who spent most of the day on the witness stand, admitted that he wasn't a perfect person and was initially hostile to many of the questions about his record asked by defense attorney Amy Ashworth.

At one point he said he wanted to "plead the Fifth" but since they were crimes for which he had already been convicted, it didn't apply.

When she asked him about giving a false name to a hospital emergency room to get out of paying a $75 bill, he smiled.

Corente is one of two people who said they saw what they thought was a child performing fellatio on Gardner while all four were at the former Sherryland (mobile home) Park in Tilton on January 17, 2013.

Corente and Joseph Ersnt said they were there looking for a trailers to buy when they saw Gardner's Volkswagen and went up to him to ask if he was the owner.

Gardner has said that he and the young man, who was in his care, had gone to the park to see if they could see their house because some trees had been cut down in logging operation.

Yesterday, Corente testified that he pulled up about eight feet away from Gardner's car and when Ernst got out of the passenger seat to approach Gardner, he saw a black head pop up into the passenger seat. Until he saw the disabled man head, he said he thought Gardner, who he said he doesn't know, was alone in the car.

Corente described the alleged victim as having jet black hair and large teeth. He said he would never forget the victim's "smile."

Physicians testified Wednesday that the alleged victim is short, has scoliosis, as well as a number of neurological problems. They said he has jet black hair and large teeth that show when he smiles. The alleged victim is also largely uncommunicative but does make sounds and occasionally words. All described him as hard to control and very active.

Ashworth also challenged Corente about when he first saw Gardner's car and where he was when he saw it.

A Tilton Police detective testified Tuesday that Corente and Ernst told them Gardner's car passed theirs on his way to the place where he and the alleged victim were parked. Corente said yesterday that he first saw Gardner's car after he and Ernst had looked at two trailers and were driving up a buff in the park.

Corente testified that he called 911 when he saw what he says was a sex act between Gardner and what he thought was a child but the call was disconnected. Corente said he gave either 911 or Wiggin a plate number but it was wrong by one number.

A tape of the call indicates it was disconnected and Tilton Police Dispatcher Terri Wiggin testified she dispatched all available officers to look for the car while she tried to recover Corente's phone number from 911. She said she called back but there was no answer.

She said she never heard from him again.

Corente also said after he was disconnected he saw the police in a different trailer park and flashed his lights but didn't stop. He testified that he wanted to get home and call police back from a land line.

He said that about an hour later he went down Route 132 (Sanborn Road) to take Ernst home and saw Gardner's car parked in the accused's driveway.

Corente testified he called Detective Nate Buffington.

Buffington testified Tuesday and said he spoke to Corente on the phone and that he told him he saw Gardner's car parked on Route 132.

Last Updated on Friday, 06 June 2014 01:07

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Gilford man waives arraingment on charges he displayed disorderly conduct at school board meeting; Sisti to defend

LACONIA — Three misdemeanor B complaints for disorderly conduct have been filed against William Baer, the parent of a ninth grade student who objected to the Gilford School District making "Nineteen Minutes" a book by N.H. author Jodi Picoult mandatory reading.

Each of the three complaints obtained from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division offers a different theory of Baer's alleged misconduct.

The first charges he purposely caused a breach of the peace by disrupting a Gilford School Board meeting after "having been asked to desist by School Board Chair Sue Allen."

The second states that Baer "refused to comply with a lawful order of a peace officer, to-wit James Leach" to move from a public place while a third version states that he "purposely caused a breach of the peace by disrupting" the school board meeting after being asked to desist by Allen.

Baer verbally interrupted another resident who was speaking at the Gilford School Board meeting on May 5.

According to two separate videos of the meeting, both posted online, Baer had already spoken to the board at the time of the incident, trying to get them to read aloud the waiver form regarding the book and it's possible disturbing content that had been sent to parents.

Allen refused to read the waiver and continually reminded Baer that he had a total of two minutes to make any comments he wished.

Seemingly frustrated, Baer returns to his seat.

A different parent — the mother of a ninth grade boy — then said she was appalled by the book and the lack of information about its content sent home to parents.

Speaking next, from a standing position in front of his seat, Joe Wernig agreed that the School Board and the administration may have made a mistake about the notification but then took the position that people like Baer and the woman who spoke after him would be dictating what books the School District could teach.

While Wernig was talking, Baer loudly commented from his seat that Wernig's assertion was "absurd". Over the verbal protestations of Allen, who keep saying "please sir, please sir," Baer continued to talk.

One view shows Superintendent Ken Hemingway throwing his hands up in a brief motion of frustration and then motioning with one hand toward the direction where Lt. Leach was standing off to the side.

After a few seconds, Leach came over to where Baer was seated and Baer said to the board, "Why don't you have me arrested, that's a real civics lesson."

While, Allen attempted to recognize the next person who wanted to speak, Leach asked Baer to leave the room a few times before grabbing his hand and leading him out his seat, which was in the middle of second to last row in the Gilford Elementary School Library. Leach escoreted Baer out of the room and handcuffed him with his hands behind his back in the hallway. A video shows Leach leading Baer to his cruiser and then removing the cuffs and recuffing him with his hands in the front after Baer told him he had a pinched nerve in his neck.

Baer has retained attorney Mark Sisti to represent him and has an arraignment day of June 17.

"We very much look forward to litigating this matter," Sisti said yesterday. "We have waived arraignment and entered not guilty pleas to all three complaints."

Last Updated on Friday, 06 June 2014 01:02

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Rose Marie Young awarded Gilmanton's Post Cane

GILMANTON — Selectmen presented Rose Marie Young , 96, with the township's Boston Post Cane in a ceremony attended by about 40 people at Town Hall Wednesday afternoon.
Young, who will turn 97 on October 14, is a former school board member who was also at one time the assistant postal officer in Gilmanton Iron Works.
The cane is presented to the oldest person in town and is a tradition in many New England communities, dating back to 1909.
Asked about the secret of her longevity, Young quipped ''I don't think I had much to do with it. It just happened.''
She is still active in the Gilmanton Community Church, the Women's Fellowship and the Post 102 American Legion Auxiliary.
Young was born in New York and moved to Gilmanton Iron Works with her husband, Morton, in 1951. The home which was owned by family members Eben and Cora Young and was operated as a bed and breakfast.
The couple had two sons, Morton, who lives with his partner Sue Bowne, and Don, who lives with his wife Rachel, and have three children, Christie, Brett and Chelsea. Additionally she has four great grandchildren.
Young also worked as a trust officer with the First National Bank of Boston.
The previous holder of Gilmanton's Boston Post Cane, James Pennock, passed away in February at the age of 99. He had been presented with the cane in 2008.
The Boston Post Cane tradition was started by the Post as a publicity stunt under the ownership of Edwin A. Grozier in 1909. The newspaper had several hundred ornate, gold-tipped canes made and contacted the selectmen in New England's largest towns. The Boston Post Canes were given to the selectmen and presented in a ceremony to the town's oldest living man. The custom was expanded to include a community's oldest women in 1930.
The Boston Post was the most popular daily newspaper in New England for over a hundred years before it folded in 1956. In the 1930s the Boston Post had grown to be one of the largest newspapers in the country, with a circulation of well over a million readers.

CAPTION: pix slugged post cane 1,2

Rose Marie Young, 96, examines the Boston Post Cane by Gilmanton Selectmen Wednesday afternoon. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 June 2014 11:31

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Woman arrested for DWI said to have tried to hide her past by pretending to be her sister

LACONIA — A Framingham, Mass. woman was ordered held on $500 cash bail for allegedly falsifying her identity on public documents after being stopped for driving while intoxicated — her alleged third offense.

Affidavits obtained from Jacqueline Taylor, 36, of 200 Arlington St. was driving along North Main St. at 12:36 a.m. yesterday when she was stopped by a patrol officer.

She allegedly told him her name was Mary-Ann Puopolo, gave a false Social Security number, and other information consistent with Puopolo who is her sister.

Using fingerprints, police were able to determine the woman who said she was Puopolo was really Taylor. Police said Puopolo was reached and provided Taylor's real birthday, address, phone number and car registration information.

Once police verified Taylor's information, they learned she had twice been convicted of driving while intoxicated in Massachusetts, once on April 11, 2010 and once on September 30, 2006.

Police also learned her license was currently under suspension for an arrest on April 7, 2013 for driving under the influence.

Taylor is charged with one misdemeanor count of filing a false report to law enforcement, one misdemeanor count of driving after revocation, one misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated third offense, and one felony count of falsifying physical evidence for making false statements to a bail bondsman.

She has posted bail according to the Belknap County Department of Corrections website.

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 June 2014 12:52

Hits: 197

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