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Channel 9 surrenders tape of jailhouse interview wiht accused killer Shawn Carter

LACONIA — WMUR television has agreed to give the the N.H. State Attorney's Office a complete copy of its taped interview with accused double ax murderer Shawn Carter.

According to a filing obtained in the Belknap County Superior Court, one of WMUR's reporters interviewed Carter on December 3, during his incarceration at the Belknap County Jail.

While a portion of the interview was aired by WMUR, Senior N.H. Asst. Attorney General Jeffrey Strelzin told them he felt he was entitled to view the entire session. Strelzin contacted Carter's defense team of Robin Wight and Eric Wolpin who said they also wanted to see the entire interview.

WMUR initially refused to give the state the entire interview, citing its internal policies as well as reporter privilege, offering the state the portion that was aired.

Rather than filing for a search warrant, the state filed a motion in court asking for the entire tape. On December 23, Strelzin filed a notice in Belknap County Superior Court saying that WMUR has agreed to give him the tape and the motion he filed was moot.

Carter is accused of chopping his mother Priscilla Carter and brother Timothy Carter to death on either May 23 or May 24 in the Sunset Drive home the three shared in the Winnisquam section of Belmont. Carter was arrested on May 24 for driving without a license and was formally charged with four counts of second-degree homicide on July 9.

Since May 24 he has remained incarcerated in the Belknap County Jail.

The WMUR reporter interviewed him and showed him the affidavits filed in support of his arrest arrest warrant.

In the course of the interview, the WMUR reporter showed Carter the police affidavits filed in support of his arrest warrant and asked him if he committed the murder. He replied that he was being charged with murder.

In his motion, Strelzin had argued that the interview didn't fall under the privilege accorded to reporters to protect their sources because there was no "source" in this case. He said the state wanted to review the entire interview to see if Carter made any admissions because the state prosecutor has an obligation not just to obtain convictions but to use "'every legitimate means to bring about a just (conviction.)'" He said the taped interview may also contain exculpatory information that Carter's defense could use.

Carter defense team has also raised issued on his competency to stand trial.

Strelzin also argued that the defendant's interview is evidence of his mental health and that he was able to speak to a stranger and review the affidavits has a bearing on whether or not he competent and is able to assist in his own defense.

Last Updated on Friday, 03 January 2014 01:37

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Lorentz picked to head N.H. Economic Development effort

LACONIA — Belknap Economic Development Council Executive Director Carmen Lorentz has been nominated by Governor Maggie Hassan to become the state's new director of the Division of Economic Development. The appointment was made public Thursday by State Senator Andrew Hosmer during a speech before the Laconia Rotary Club.
''I'm thrilled with the opportunity and welcome the challenges of the new position,'' said Lorentz, a Lakes Region native.
''We're very sorry to see her go. It's a loss for Belknap County but a gain for the state of New Hampshire,'' said Sean Sullivan, chairman of the board of directors for BEDC.
He said that Lorentz had provided strong leadership, notably in the areas of advanced manufacturing and workforce development through the 200 by 2020 initiative, which links students with job internship opportunities.
Sullivan said the BEDC is in the process of starting a search for her successor.''We want to continue with the strong momentum that she has provided us with.''
Lorentz lives in Gilmanton with her husband, Jonathon, and son, Julius, and has headed the BEDC since March of 2011. Prior to that she was a senior economic development specialist for the consulting firm of Carmoin Associates of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where she assisted more than 50 communities across the Northeast in economic development planning, business attraction, and downtown revitalization.
A 1995 graduate of Gilford High School, Lorentz (then, Carmen Reed) went on to study International Affairs at George Washington University. She spent several years in Washington, DC, lobbying Congress on foreign policy issues and working at an international foundation.
Lorentz focused on state and local government policy in her Master's degree program at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy. She subsequently participated in New York's Public Management Institute, which afforded her the opportunity to analyze state economic development policies.
Her nomination is expected to come before the Executive Council for confirmation on January 15, and, if confirmed, she is expected to start work late this month.
The Division of Economic Development is a division of the state's Department of Resources and Economic Development (DRED) and is currently led by interim director Christopher Way.
Hassan had nominated Rochester Community Development Director Karen Pollard, who also served as deputy city manager in that city, to the economic development post in October but Pollard withdrew from consideration in November, electing to remain in her position in Rochester.

Last Updated on Friday, 03 January 2014 01:31

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Overheated electrical outlet that was powering space heater said cause of Gilford marina fire

GILFORD — An overheated electrical outlet that was powering a space heater was likely the source of a fire that damaged a local marina Christmas Eve.

Deputy Chief Brad Ober said yesterday that the space heated was plugged into a power strip that was connected to the electrical outlet with an extension cord. He also said three other things were plugged into the power strip but the only thing that was on at the time was the space heater.

Ober said no one had been in the building since Monday and that the space heater appeared to be the only source of heat in the room.

The fire that started in the second floor canvas room was noticed by a passerby around 4 p.m. who notified the Gilford Fire Department.

Firefighters were able to extinguish it using water they brought with them.

Ober said the owners were very fortunate that the passerby noticed the smoke when he or she did. He said the canvas in the room as well as the wall had started to burn and the whole room "was getting ready to go."

He said there was about $100,000 in damage done to the building and most of it was contained to the canvas room.

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 January 2014 12:54

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Laconia man held on $5k cash bail after being charged with 2 assaults

LACONIA — A local man is being held on $5,000 cash bail after allegedly pushing his wife and then trying to enter his neighbor's apartment.

Richard Sweeney, 30, of Jewett St. is charged with two counts of simple assault and one count of criminal trespass.

According to police affidavits, Sweeney allegedly push his wife by putting his open hand on her face in the course of an argument they were having on December 28 at 8:46 p.m.

When he left his wife's apartment he allegedly went downstairs. One of the occupants of the downstairs apartment said she heard the argument and had opened her door to see what was happening.

The neighbor told police Sweeney tried to approach her door and she tried to close if before he got there but she was too late. She said Sweeney allegedly pushed the door open which struck her in her right knee.

She told police that Sweeney kept trying to push open her door and finally yelled to her brother who came and helped her. The neighbor's brother escorted Sweeney to the exterior door.

Affidavits said police spoke to Sweeney and he said he pushed his wife because she was trying to hit him. He didn't mention anything about allegedly trying to get into his neighbor's apartment.

The city prosecutor asked for cash bail because Sweeney's previous criminal activity included failing to appear in court four times, criminal mischief in 2013, simple assault in 2013, and breach of bail in 2013.

The state said Sweeney also has a criminal order of protection in which his wife is a protected party.

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 January 2014 12:49

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