LACONIA – Two men were in court yesterday to face charges that they allegedly entered a woman's home at 1:10 a.m. on Sunday. The pair are being held on $3,000 cash-only bail despite an argument by a public defender to dismiss the case.
Public Defender John Bresaw argued yesterday in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division that the affidavit submitted to the court to support cash bail for Kevin L. Gobeil, 20, of Plymouth contained no information that he was one of two men the homeowner woke and saw in her house.
The victim, a resident of Emerald Street, called 911 and told the dispatcher that the two fled when they realized she was awake. She told police one man was white and the other was "darker skinned."
Gobeil, 20, of Plymouth and Michael P. Regan, 31, of 6 Arch Street Apt. 1 in Laconia are both charged with burglary.
Complaints against both men charge them with burglary with the intent to commit theft. By definition, in New Hampshire burglary is a Class A felony if it is committed at night and if someone enters an occupied structure without invite with the intent to commit a crime - such as theft.
Bresaw argued that "white and male" was not sufficient information to arrest Gobiel without a warrant. According to police affidavits, the first responding officer said he heard sounds coming from a heavily wooded area about 300 feet from the victim's residence. He said he got out of his cruiser and announced, "Laconia Police with a K-9, come out with your hands up or I will send in the dog."
The officer said Gobiel came from the tree line with his hands up. When asked, affidavits said Gobiel told the officer that he saw the cruiser and jumped into the woods because he had drugs on him. When questioned about the drugs, the officer wrote in his affidavit that Gobiel seemed confused by the question.
Affidavits said the officer found a backpack and one black and white shoe near the wood line but Gobiel said they were not his. He also told them he was alone.
After a N.H. State Police dog and handler arrived, multiple officers went into the woods and found Regan lying in the mud. He was wearing one black and white shoe and affidavits said he told police the backpack was his. He allegedly said he fell in the mud and hit his head on a rock. He refused medical treatment. Affidavits said he was wearing dark shorts and a dark T-shirt that matched the description given by the woman of the second male.
Bresaw argued Gobiel's arrest failed to meet the standard of "probable cause" for an arrest because there was no identification of his client by the victim and no facts to support the burglary charge.
"At best, we have criminal trespass," Bresaw said.
Laconia Prosecutor Jim Sawyer argued the charges satisfied the probable cause standard for arrest because the victim said she saw two people and two people were found in the immediate area, that he lied to police about being alone and that the shoe and the backpack were directly in the tree line from the house.
Judge Edward "Ned" Gordon ruled that there was probable cause for the arrest without a warrant noting that police are not determining guilt. He said there was sufficient basis for them to reasonably believe that he was committing the offense of burglary and there was "no doubt" that he was in the home because of where and what time he was found.
"In this case it appears the two were in the house at 1 a.m. and were not invited guests," Gordon said, denying Bresaw's motion to dismiss the charges.
Regan initially appeared without an attorney. A bail hearing for him will be held at 10 a.m. this morning.
Gobiel also faces one misdemeanor charge of breach of bail and Regan also faces a second charge of breach of bail.