Durgin's Motion for DNA testing denied by court (370)

LACONIA — A Belknap County Judge ruled last week that a man who was convicted of negligent homicide for the 2011 beating and kicking death of Leo LaPierre had not provided sufficient evidence to have his motion granted for DNA testing of items from a room at the trailer where the incident took place.
It was the seventh time that Jason Durgin, 41, has filed a motion with the court in connection with case.
In a hand-written motion Durgin offered to pay for DNA testing of a samples from a bloody pillowcase, bloody bed sheets and a bloody pool cue which were in the bedroom of a woman who lived in the trailer.
The state Attorney General's office replied to the motion and pointed out that Durgin did not choose to have those samples tested prior to the trial.
In June 2012 a Belknap County jury convicted Durgin of negligent homicide for the 2011 beating and kicking death of LaPierre – a transient who occasionally stayed in the trailer Durgin rented behind Quik Laundry on South Main Street.
LaPierre was found unconscious by some friends of one of Durgin's other roommates and she called the police. He was taken to Lakes Region General Hospital and flown to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon where he died about six days later without regaining consciousness.
When police first arrived at the home around 9:30 a.m., Durgin and his roommate refused to come out of the trailer. The roommate testified at his trial that he held her down on the bed and refused to let her go to the door and speak with the police. Eventually the two came out of the trailer without further incident.
The roommate also testified that the night before, she saw Durgin punch and kick LaPierre during an argument.
After his conviction, Durgin received the maximum sentence of 3½ to 7 years in State Prison. Credited with 406 days of pre-trial confinement, Durgin served 2½ years and was released on parole on Nov. 13, 2014.
In December of 2013, the N.H. Supreme Court upheld Durgin's conviction in a unanimous decision. He had argued that his defense team had been prohibited from offering an alternative theory of the crime and that one of the witnesses against him had allegedly unlawfully used his EBT card.

Pumpkin Fest founder to speak in Laconia on Thursday

LACONIA — Nancy Sporborg, the author, presenter and professional motivator who founded the Pumpkin Festival, will share her appreciation and understanding of pumpkins and lend her hand to underwriting the festival by speaking this week at the Grace Capital Church.

Sporborg's program, "Passing the Torch," includes photographs and music and mimics the style of her well-known "It's Not About The Hike" presentation. She will be speaking on crutches after breaking a leg while hiking in the White Mountains.

The goal for the evening is to raise $20,000. There are 100 seats available at $100 per person and another 200 seats for a donation of $50. For reservations contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Sex Assault Charge Dropped to Misdemeanor, Romanian man faces November trial

LACONIA — A sexual assault charge against a Romanian man was reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor when he was arraigned Monday in Laconia Circuit Court.
Miklos Szekely, 23, is now slated to stand trial on that charge in the Laconia court on November 9 at 1 p.m.
Laconia Police Department prosecutor James Sawyer aid that Szekely was originally arrested on a charge of aggravated felonious sexual assault of an 18-year-old female acquaintance during the evening hours of September 28 at his residence at 12 Maple Street in the Weirs. The charge was reduced to a misdemeanor sexual assault complaint of forced fondling when Szekely was arraigned by video Monday.
Sawyer, who said the defendant was booked to leave the country on a flight Monday night, sought to have Judge James Carroll order him to turn over his passport and set cash bail at $1,000.
But Public Defender Jesse Friedman sought to have the $6,000 cash bail reduced to personal recognizance bail so that the defendant could fly home to enroll in a master's degree program in agriculture. Friedman maintained that Szekely was not a flight risk and was an honor student who has stayed with the same family for the last three summers and had worked at a cottage colony and restaurant in the area.
Judge Carroll set cash bail of $6,000 but did not require the defendant to turn over his passport. He also ordered that the defendant have no contact with the alleged victim and that he stay away from the restaurant where she is employed.
An affidavit filed with the court says that Szekely used physical force during the incident after the victim had said that she would not consent and that he had placed his hand on her vagina and her breast and had prevented her from leaving the room when she attempted to do so.
Szekely, who was arranging for bail late Monday afternoon, was scheduled to fly to Romania later in the day. His name was no longer listed Tuesday on the Belknap County House of Corrections website as a detainee.