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City to acquire lot at Busy Corner for $1


LACONIA — The City Council this week agreed to purchase the triangular, postage stamp-size lot at Busy Corner, the junction of Union Avenue and Church Street, for $1 and to accept a donation of $20,000 from CVS Pharmacy, the owner of the property, to design and landscape the parcel.

The lot, a mere 0.058 of an acre, is nearly a perfect isosceles triangle with two sides of 94.12 feet and 94.85 feet and a third of 55.81 feet. The building, topped by the sign proclaiming "Busy Corner,"which has stood on the lot and undergone a skein of uses since 1917, will be demolished.
Originally, CVS planned to develop it and submitted a sketch showing a paved doughnut with a planted center in the middle of the triangle bounded on three sides by perennial grasses and shrubs. However, City Manager Scott Myers said that the city will likely develop a fresh design, which will not contain elements that would obscure the view of the CVS pharmacy itself. At the same time, Myers said that the city has granted the request of CVS to move its sign from the entrance to the pharmacy on Union Avenue to the edge of its parking lot nearer Busy Corner.

Busy Corner front

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Man found sleeping on Fair Street lawn arrested on outstanding warrants


LACONIA — A former Tilton man found passed out on the front lawn of a home on Fair Street Thursday morning was arrested by police for outstanding warrants.

Police said Shane Duval, 29, whose address is listed as transient, was wanted by Laconia Police for driving after revocation. He was also wanted on a warrant issued by Belknap County Superior Court for failing to appear for a criminal hearing in July.

According to paperwork obtained from the Superior Court, Duval was arrested by Laconia Police on July 8 when an officer noticed a car parked with its headlights on just before midnight in the Premium Mart, which was closed.

Police determined the car was registered to Duval and that his license and registration were under suspension. Duval was also wanted at the time by Concord Police for receiving stolen property.

When Duval got out of his car, police said a 4-inch "fixed-blade survival knife" knife allegedly fell from his belt and an expandable metal baton was next to the driver's seat. After being placed in handcuffs, Duval was searched for weapons and a small plastic bag with a substance that later field-tested positive for methamphetamine. He also had $1,223 in cash in his pocket.

Affidavits indicate that Duval was convicted for a Class B felony for second-degree assault in Merrimack County Superior Court in 2008.

He was charged with one count of possession of methamphetamine and two counts of being a felon in possession of a deadly weapon and released on $5,000 personal recognizance bail.

Duval appeared for his arraignment in the Belknap County Superior Court and bail was continued at $5,000 personal recognizance.

His failure show up for a second hearing triggered the bench warrant.

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Man jailed for having knife while on probation gets sentence review


LACONIA — A man who is in prison for violating his probation on a drug conviction by carrying a sheathed hunting knife has been scheduled for a sentence review.
Robert Lilly was sentenced to 2 ½ to 5 years for the probation violation even though he was criminally exonerated. The sentence review hearing will take place Oct. 21 in the Merrimack County Superior Court.
A state sentencing review board has agreed to hear arguments regarding sentence imposed in March on Lilly, 41, of Franklin, for violating his probation to determine if it is just and in the best interest of society.
The hearing board consists of three judges and does not include the trial judge. The hearing is largely based on oral arguments presented by Lilly and his attorney Steve Mirkin of the New Hampshire Public Defenders Office and Belknap County Attorney Melissa Guldbrandsen or her designee.
According to the New Hampshire Judiciary media representative Carole Alfano, each side will have 15 minutes to present its case to the board, and testimony can come from victims and others who are affected.
Lilly was arrested for carrying a fixed blade hunting/fishing knife on his belt in November of 2015 by Gilford Police when he was spotted by a police officer who was called to Walmart for an unrelated case.
Because he was convicted of two counts of drug possession in 2014, he received a prison sentence of 2 1/2 to 5 years, which was suspended pending good behavior.
After his arrest in November, Lilly remained free on bail while the criminal charge of being a felon in possession of a deadly weapon was adjudicated. In March, he was found responsible for a probation violation and sent to the New Hampshire State Prison to serve his original sentence. In June, the criminal charge of being a felon in possession of a deadly weapon was dismissed by the court because the judge determined the prosecution failed to make its case.
But, because of the probation violation, Lilly remains in state prison and though the sentence imposition has been appealed to the state Supreme Court, he is asking to be free on bail until the appeal is decided.
According to a transcript of a hearing held in in June for Lilly’s probation status with respect to bail, Mirkin said he had been employed full time and that his employer would gladly take him back.
Mirkin said Lilly is the only support for his girlfriend, who is disabled and has two children. He said Lilly was willing and able to resume that responsibility.
Mirkin also reminded the court that during the original probation violation hearing in March, Lilly’s probation officer testified that since his release from the Belknap County House of Correction and until he was sent to prison in March, Lilly had complied with all of the conditions of his original sentence and had been reporting faithfully when arrested. He had not failed any drug tests and, but for the hunting knife incident in Gilford, has complied with any and all of his probation requirements.
Mirkin also made the legal argument that previous case law has determined that simply because a probationer was arrested, the arrest alone is not sufficient to constitute a probation violation.
Lilly did plead guilty after the Gilford incident to driving after his license was suspended, which is a violation and not a crime.
Mirkin said that his client would appear at every hearing and had already voluntarily done so until his incarceration, that he presented no danger to the community, that he had no convictions for any violent crimes against anyone, and was not a threat to the community. He said Lilly was not likely to intimidate any witnesses in his upcoming criminal case as there were none, that he won’t leave the state and is willing to report to the Belknap County Restorative Justice Department weekly.
Arguing in opposition, Guldbrandsen said the court should look to the underlying crime for guidance. She said Lilly was in possession of 24 oxycodone pills and over a gram of cocaine at the time of his arrest in 2013.
She said that at that time he had been staying in a Laconia apartment whose occupants, including Lilly’s ex-wife, were arrested by city police and charged with sales of drugs. She said 21 bags of heroin were attributed to a different resident of the apartment.
While Guldbrandsen said that it was three years earlier, she said he still should be considered a threat to the community because of the circumstances of his original arrest.

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