Amy Lafond petitions court for early release to home confinement

LACONIA — Amy Lafond, the SUV driver who hit two teens who were walking along a sidewalk on Messer Street after leaving Middle School on April 19 of 2013, has petitioned the Belknap County Superior Court for a sentence reduction of three years.

Lilyanna Johnson, 14, was killed and Allyssa Miner, now 16, was seriously injured.

Drafted the language herself, Lafond filed a motion asking for permission to enter into home confinement under the "strict supervision" by the N.H. Prison for Women and undergo nine months of intensive outpatient drug and alcohol treatment program.

She acknowledged that the Corrections Policy and Procedure rules do not allow prisoners convicted of second degree assault to be released on administrative confinement and that she had to petition the court.

Lafond, 54, pleaded guilty to one count of negligent homicide and one count of second degree assault on May 29, 2014. The minimum penalty for each conviction is 3 1/2 to 7 years and Judge James O'Neill ordered them to be served consecutively — meaning once she has served the 3 1/2 years for negligent homicide she will begin serving the 3 1/2 years for second degree assault.

As part of a plea agreement, six months of the second sentence was suspended for good behavior. Lafond was credited with 247 days of time she served while she was awaiting trial and incarcerated in the Belknap County House of Corrections, which was credited toward her first sentence. She also has a total of $260,000 in restitution payments to make.

The Belknap County Attorney's Office has not filed a response to Lafond's motion, but if there is an objection on its part, then it will be filed with the court. A hearing on the motion and its objection will be held and the victims will be notified. It would be the decision of court to allow or not to allow the victims to speak openly or to submit statements in writing.

Belknap County Attorney Melissa Guldbrandsen was unavailable for comment yesterday and Laconia Police Chief Chris Adams said he had not read the motion or conferred with Guldbrandsen, so he declined to comment. Adams anticipated speaking with her next week.
In her motion, Lafond said she has completed a 9-month intensive substance abuse treatment program and is being housed in the Wellness Block on the state's Prison for Women in Goffstown. She said she has maintained academic excellence in her career- and technical-classes and is earning a computer certificate.

Lafond said she has been incident free and is working in a security-sensitive job in the prison library. She said she has completed a parenting class, a health-relationships class, and a life skills seminar.

While in prison she participates in AA, NA, various spiritual classes, yoga, and the Concord Women's Book Club.

Northfield woman apparant tragic victim of home fire

NORTHFIELD — A 58-year-old Oak Hill Road woman died yesterday in what police said initially appears to be a smoking accident. She is not being identified until her family is notified.

Police Chief John Raffaelly said police and emergency crews were called to 560 Oak Hill Road at 2 p.m. yesterday for a report of a dead body on the front lawn of a house.

The caller reported that it appeared there had been some kind fire. Raffaelly said the caller was a neighbor who had driven by and had seen something unusual on the lawn.

Raffaelly said it there were char marks on a chair in the house as well as a half-burned cigarette on the floor near the chair. He said the woman's clothing was burned.

Police said they verified that the victim been alive at 12:30 p.m. when she received a food delivery.

At 3 p.m. a N.H. State Medical Examiner had arrived and Raffaelly said they were also waiting for a State Fire Marshal to arrive. He said the victim had been taken to the coroner's office in Concord for an autopsy.

No further information was available at press time.


CAPTION: (Northfield smoking victim) N.H. State Medical Examiner Jennie Duval examines the area where emergency responded from the Northfield Police and the Tilton-Northfield Fire Department found the body of a victim who lived in the home. Holding a sheet used by police to protect the ground from contamination are Northfield Police Sgt. Jim McIntire, left and off-duty Northfield Police Sgt. Michael Hutchinson. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Gail Ober)

$7 million county jail budget may not have room for much in the way of brickwork

LACONIA — The exterior of a proposed Belknap County community corrections facility will likely have some brick work near the entryway but how much more brick will be used remains up in the air.
''Brick would look better,'' County Administrator Deb Shackett said in response to a question about exterior materials from Project Manager Anthony Mento of SMP Architecture, the architectural firm which is designing the facility.
Shackett said at yesterday afternoon's meeting of the facility's planning committee that having brick would show that the new structure was ''not just another part of the old jail.''
The committee will have to wait until cost estimates are available for other parts of the plan before determining how much brick it will be able to afford and still stay within the $7 million limit advocated by County Commission Chairman Dave DeVoy.
There was also some discussion of removing an old barn near the driveway which provides access to the current House of Corrections. The barn, which was once a part of the farming operations at the county facility and is now used for storage, has been described as an ''eyesore".'
County Corrections Interim Superintendent Keith Gray says he has discussed the old barn with County Sheriff Craig Wiggin, who has no objection to its removal.
A final determination on the barn's fate will await cost estimates as the structure is not in the way of the footprint of the proposed 17,025-square-foot, 64-bed facility, which will be built as a one-story wood-frame structure.
SMP President Eric Palson displayed an updated plan for the facility, which he said had made it ''longer and skinnier'' and tightened up the configuration.
The plan shows gabled roofs for the entryways with clerestory ceilings allowing natural light to enter the hallways.
Public access to the corrections facility would be through a south-facing, covered entry which would be reached from a parking lot located off from the current driveway to the Belknap County complex. The proposed site plan also contains a separate entry road into the county complex for service vehicles only, near Lexington Drive, which would separate public traffic from service vehicles for a better traffic flow.
A sallyport (secure drive-through) will be connect the proposed new facility with the current jail.
The committee will hold a video conference meeting on the proposal on July 21 at 9 a.m. and will present the plan to the Belknap County Commissioners at 10 a.m. on July 22.