ALTON — Town Attorney Anthony Estee has filed a motion with the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division that, if granted, would allow him to introduce as evidence video and audio footage of Jeffrey T. Clay's actions at selectman's meetings held prior to day he was arrested during one.
The footage, said Estee, will provide the court with descriptions of situations that occurred at previous meetings and he said it will help the court understand Chief Ryan Heath's state of mind when he arrested Clay at the December 10, 2014 meeting and charged him with disorderly conduct.
Clay was arrested by Chief Heath after refusing to stop talking during his five-minute allotted time to address the board. He used about four minutes of his time to accuse selectmen of not being transparent and demanded their resignations.
Heath initially asked Clay to leave, but when Clay asked him what he had done, Heath said the selectmen want you to leave. When Clay refused, Heath arrested him. Charged initially with two counts of misdemeanor disorderly conduct, one charge has been dismissed and the other is still pending.
Estee said the videos he wanted introduced as evidence will show that at three prior meetings, selectmen made the decision to terminate Clay's speech and in the three prior incidents Clay cooperated with police officers who asked him to stop.
Estee said Chief Heath was aware of Clay's prior behavior and this evidence is needed to determine his state of mind when he asked Clay to leave the meeting.
Because Clay chose to stop talking and leave, when asked, during his previous three encounters with selectman, he said the tapes are not to indicate Clay's prior bad conduct, which is typically not allowed as evidence, but to show Clay's actions in not leaving were a departure from his previous conduct.
Estee said the introduction of this evidence will not be unfairly prejudicial to Clay because it is not likely to appeal to the courts sympathies, arouse its sense of horror or provoke its instinct to punish.
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