Judge declines to dismiss additional charges against Meredith man alleged to have sold deadly heroin dose

LACONIA — A Belknap County Superior Court judge ruled yesterday that additional charges brought against a Meredith man who is scheduled to stand trial next week for sales of a narcotic, death resulting, will not be dismissed.

In addition to the above charge for which Currier was indicted in 2013, a grand jury also indicted Andrew Currier, 51, now of Laconia, for two counts of conspiracy to sell narcotics and one count of accomplice to possession of a controlled drug in November of 2014.

Currier was indicted on the sales of a narcotic-death resulting in 2013 and his trial was scheduled to begin on November 17, 2014. Just before the trial, Currier's defense submitted its final discovery, or information gathered from their own investigation, and from it the state learned that one of the theories the defense was using was that another person actually sold the late Jason Dostie the heroin, not Currier.

The trial was delayed on the morning of jury selection when a key witness, the victim's father, John Dostie, was hospitalized and couldn't appear.

Using the information from the final defense discovery, the state went forward and brought additional charges against Currier for conspiracy and being an accomplice to drug sales.

At yesterday's hearing in front of Judge Peter Fauver, Currier's lawyer Steve Mirkin cried foul, saying the prosecutor knew about the possible involvement of the second man as early as 2013 but the Meredith Police failed to investigate his alleged role.

"The state should not get the benefit of seeing what happened at one trial and bring forth a second trial," Mirkin argued, unsuccessfully.

Assistant Belknap County Prosecutor Roni Karnis argued that the trial for "death resulting" had not begun and jeopardy (meaning the state can't try someone for the same thing two times) had not attached.

Fauver agreed with Karnis that the newest charges would stand, but also ruled for Currier that the two batches of charges should be severed — or tried at different times.

According to the arguments heard in court yesterday, Jason Dostie repeated sent text messages to Currier asking him for a "bump" or some heroin. Dostie also told Currier he didn't have any money and asked for it to be fronted to him.

Currier's text messages allegedly indicated that he was unwilling to do that.

Dostie allegedly texted back that Currier could take a leaf blower from his truck as collateral but Currier allegedly said he needed money not collateral.

Records indicate that Currier went to an ATM in Meredith around 8 a.m. and that he was at Dostie's place of employment at 8:20 a.m. The leaf blower was also found in his possession.

The defense said it's argument is that Currier gave Dostie money but that Dostie could have bought the heroin from someone else. Mirkin said the evidence shows that Dostie left work to go to his father's truck at 9 a.m. and was never see alive again. He argues that if Dostie was so desperate for heroin he wouldn't have waited 40 minutes if he thought the heroin was in the truck.

Arguments at yesterday's hearing also revealed police never found the needle Dostie used to inject the heroin, despite using a metal detector. They said they found a package of 10 needles with one missing in the truck.

Mirkin also said that during interviews with Dostie's father, both Currier and the second man's name came up as people who he thought could have provided his son with the heroin.

Jury selection for Currier for the sales of heroin, death resulting, is scheduled for January 5. The trial is scheduled to begin a week later.

Correction: Gilmanton budget hearings are on Wednesday night

In article in Friday's paper incorrectly the reported the date for public hearings on the proposed Gilmanton School District and Town of Gilmanton budgets for 2015. Both hearings will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 5 at the Academy Building. The school hearing will begin at 6 p.m. and the town hearing will immediately follow that.

Laconia has already spent 1/3 of winter road budget

LACONIA — Although there was no white Christmas, the Department of Public Works is on track to have spent approximately a third of its winter maintenance budget between December 21, the first day of winter, and the beginning of the New Year.

Paul Moynihan, Director of Public Works, said yesterday that the final tally for December has yet to be calculated, but he anticipates that expenses for the month will approach $90,000, which together with costs incurred in November will bring expenditures to date to around $147,000.

In November, the department spent $43,440 , $41,704 of it coping with the snow storm over the Thanksgiving holiday, when crews working overtime applied 422 tons of salt and 28 tons of sand. "It was an expensive storm," Moynihan said.

Moynihan said that the despite the lack of heavy snowfall and spells of warm temperatures in December, crews have turned out at night to plow, sand and salt on nine occasions. At the same time, he said that the department has incurred the expense of replenishing its stocks of salt and sand.

By comparison, the DPW had spent $102,890 by end of December, 2013 and $83,703 by the end of December 2012.

Belmont man accepts prison sentence for providing deadly drug to his best friend

SUPERIOR COURT — A former Belmont man yesterday pleaded guilty in Belknap County Superior Court to selling fentanyl to his best friend and was sentenced to serve 4 to 8 years in the N.H. State Prison for Men.

Jonathan Woodbury, 32, formerly on 56 Arlene Drive sold fentanyl that he thought was heroin to Michael Chamberlain on February 7, 2014.

The remaining charges against Woodbury that involved different theories of the same crime were dropped.

Woodbury will serve his 4 to 8 year sentenced after he has completed serving a 1 1/2 to 3 year sentence imposed in July of 2014 for smuggling contraband into the Belknap County House of Corrections.

Woodbury, who was accompanied by three members of his family had nothing to say to the family of Michael Chamberlain who were also in the court room yesterday.

Speaking for him, his attorney Wade Harwood, said Woodbury and Chamberlain had been friends since they were in grade school and that he will have to live knowing he killed him for the rest of his life.

Deputy Belknap County Prosecutor Carley Ahern said that if they went to trial the state would prove that Chamberland went to Woodbury's home and consumed the fentanyl while he was there.

She said when he began to turn blue, people in the house attempted to revive him but ultimately called 9-1-1. When firefighters and police arrived, she said she would offer testimony that by Woodbury hedged before telling emergency responders what Chamberlain had taken.

She said she would call Det. Sgt. Christopher Noyes of the Laconia Police Department who would testify that Woodbury confessed that he sold the drugs to Chamberlain two days after he died.

By the time they administered NARCAN, Chamberlain has died.

She also listed Woodbury's previous criminal record that included 30 previous convictions from sales of tobacco when he was younger that escalated to assault, drugs possession, parole violations, and a second-degree assault in 2006.

Ahern said this would be Woodbury's second time in the N.H. State Prison.

Harwood said the Woodbury pleaded guilty but there were some mitigating factors including that others would testify the Chamberlain was already under the influence of impairment when he first arrived at Woodbury's home.

"It is possible he ingested the fentanyl before," Harwood said.

Harwood said Woodbury would also agreed to drop four motions to exclude much of the testimony filed on his behalf.

"He feels terrible," Harwood said. "It's difficult for him to deal with."

Once Woodbury is freed from prison, Woodbury must be on parole for four years and complete a substance abuse assessments.