By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — The state has dropped all charges against a local man who had been accused of being an accomplice to a burglary on Harvard Street in June of 2014 where one of the victims was either grazed by a bullet or hit with a gun.
In June of 2016, a Belknap County grand jury had indicted Joshua G. Pike, 30, of or formerly of 1156 N. Main St. in Laconia, for one count of being an career criminal who was in possession of a gun, one count of being an conspirator to burglary and one count of being an accomplice to a burglary in the night.
The state had contended that Pike was the "inside man" when he opened the door in the early morning hours of June 25 and allowed two masked men to enter the home at 54 Harvard St. Some illegal drugs were stolen, a gun was fired, and one victim was injured either by the bullet or by a blow to the head.
Earlier this year, the state also dropped charges against Tyler Twombly, formerly of Concord, who was charged with being one of the two masked men who committed the crime. After attempting a series of hearings where witnesses could either get immunity or not testify for fear of self-incrimination, none of the witnesses appeared. Twombly's attorney had said that Pike would have testified that it was not Twombly who entered the home; however, the state refused to give him immunity.
In Pike's case, his attorney successfully argued in a request to separate the career criminal charge from the other charges because there was no evidence that his client had control of a gun that night or at any other time, and that the charge of being a career criminal was just a way for the prosecution to let the jury know that Pike has previous convictions for burglary and accomplice to robbery.
The state argued that all three cases should be tried together because all of the witnesses were the same and the three crimes allegedly happened on the same night.
Belknap County Superior Court Judge James O'Neill said that if the jury heard the evidence "there is a significant risk that the jury would impermissibly use this information as evidence that the defendant is guilty in this case of (the other criminal charges.)" He granted to motion to sever the one case from the two burglary cases.
The state opted to drop all three cases against Pike.