BankofNH DreamBig 728x90

Woman watches as her stolen car is crashed

LACONIA — A Lyford Street woman and a Laconia Police officer watched as a man who had allegedly just stolen a woman's car drove away and crashed it into a tree Tuesday.

Police said they were called to the Jackson Street area for a suspicious man, but when they drove down Lyford Street a woman flagged them down and told them her car had just been stolen by a man identified later as Ronald R. Johnson, 31, of Old Prescott Hill Road in Laconia.

The victim said Johnson allegedly told he he had a gun.

The woman and the officer watched as Johnson drove away and crashed the car into a tree. He was unharmed in the crash.

Johnson refused bail and will be arraigned in the Belknap County Superior Court Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.

– Gail Ober

Laconia man held on $100,000 bail, charged with attempted murder


LACONIA — A Messer Street man who allegedly stabbed his sister's boyfriend in the head twice at a Tilton motel has been charged with one count of attempted second-degree murder and one count of first-degree assault.

07-13 Jason FordFord

Jason Ford, 31, of 106 Messer St. is being held on $100,000 cash-only bail after turning himself in to Tilton Police Monday night.

According to affidavits to support probable cause, Ford's sister and her boyfriend were in a motel room at the Rodeway Inn on Laconia Road when they heard a knock at the door. Ford's sister told police she answered because she thought a friend was stopping by.

She said her brother, Jason Ford, pushed her aside, jumped on top of the bed and attacked her boyfriend with what she initially thought were his fists, but learned almost immediately that he had been using a knife.

Ford then left, although both his sister and the victim had differing accounts on whether Ford was alone.

When police arrived, they said the victim was covered in blood and walked toward them with his hands in the air. After police determined he was the victim, he was taken by ambulance to Lakes Region General Hospital.

Police said Ford's sister had been drinking and said she didn't want to believe her brother could have done such a thing, but said Ford may blame her boyfriend because she had started drinking again.

Police obtained a warrant to search the hotel room and found blood on the pillows and comforters but did not recover a knife.

Following the police interview with Ford's sister, they learned the victim had been released from the hospital and a New Hampshire State Trooper brought him to the Tilton Police station for an interview.

He told them he was in the room with his girlfriend and heard the knock on the door. He said the next thing he knew, a man who was allegedly Jason Ford began attacking him. He told police he was afraid for his life and just tried to cover himself. He said he didn't understand why it happened.

The victim gave police permission to access his medical records and allowed them to photograph his head wound and other injuries. Police noticed his shirt was covered in blood and he had a laceration on the top left part of his head.

The complaint for attempted second-degree murder filed in Superior Court on Tuesday says that Jason Ford "took a substantial step toward the commission of (second-degree murder) by reckless stabbing the victim in the head and "manifesting an extreme indifference to the value of human life."

The complaint for first-degree assault says he "knowingly" caused the victim bodily injury by using a knife.

The state and Jason Ford's defense attorney, Jesse Friedman, agreed to the $100,000 cash bail; however, Friedman reserved the right to argue that bail at a future date. Friedman said Tuesday that Ford didn't do the things for which he is accused.

Texas man accused of sexual assault arrested in Gilford

07-13 James Francis Purcell III

LACONIA — An Arlington, Texas, man who is wanted on sexual assault charges was located and taken into custody by the Belknap County Sheriff's Department, working jointly with the Joint Fugitive Task Force.

James Francis Purcell III, 20, of 320 Old Lake Shore Road #7 in Gilford was arrested Monday without incident.

Police said the underlying criminal charge is sexual assault – child under 17. Arlington Police said Purcell is allegedly to have had multiple sexual encounters with a 15-year-old girl who he supposedly met online.

After his appearance in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division, Purcell declined to waive extradition to Texas. He was ordered held on $10,000 cash but Belknap County Chief Deputy Dave Perkins said a family member posted bail almost immediately.

— Gail Ober