Alleged burglar who assaulted neighbor in Laconia held on $20,000 cash bail

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — A Washington Street man who allegedly broke into his upstairs neighbor's apartment and assaulted the tenant was ordered held on $20,000 cash-only bail after entering a not guilty plea in Belknap County Superior Court Tuesday.

Jesse Colgen, 32, of 5 Washington St. is facing one charge of burglary, which is defined as the unlawful entry in an occupied structure with the intent to commit a crime, along with one count of resisting arrest.

A Belknap County prosecutor argued that Colgen is a danger to the community because of what he said was an unprovoked assault on a man 20 years his senior that was only stopped when police, who were nearby on a different call, heard the victim yell, "Don't kill me" and heard glass breaking.

Assistant Belknap County Prosecutor R.J. Meurin also told the court that Colgen resisted arrest and had to be subdued with a Taser before submitting to arrest.

Meurin said Colgen had two previous convictions for burglary in 2001 and 2002, two drug convictions from 2002 and 2005, and previous convictions for resisting arrest. He said records show Colgen violated the terms of his probation twice and served a 2- to 4-year imposed sentence and a second 1- to 4-year imposed sentence in Prison.

Colgen's attorney Theodore Lothstein asked for $10,000 personal recognizance bail, telling the court that Colgen had never failed to appear for a court appearance and that he was allegedly provoked by the victim.

Lothstein said the victim lived in an apartment upstairs into which Colgen, his partner and their two young children had recently moved. He said the upstairs tenant had been making a lot of noise and twice Colgen had gone upstairs to request he be more quiet because his two children needed to sleep.

On the third trip upstairs, Colgen allegedly entered without permission and beat up the victim.

Lothstein said the two men may have fought, but that the charge of burglary was not the correct charge for the situation.

Lothstein said Colgen is the sole support of his family, that his boss said he could return to work if released, that he had a place to live in Gilford and would not be returning to Washington Street.
He also said that since Colgen's arrest, his girlfriend has allegedly been targeted by the upstairs victim, who had sworn at her and continues to lean out his window and sing "I wish I had Jesse's girl," which a line from a popular 1980s rock song.

Lothstein said Colgen's girlfriend would be making alternative living arrangements as soon as she is able.

Muerin rebutted by saying that when police arrived there was no evidence of a party and that instead of calling the police about the upstairs noise, he chose to physically assault the man instead.

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Franklin man gets 1 to 4 years after escaping sheriff’s custody

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — A Franklin man will serve one to four years in prison for escaping through the window of a Belknap County Sheriff's Department while being transported from Superior Court to the jail last month.

Anthony DeForge, 28, formerly of 21 Pearl St., had been arrested on Aug. 13 by Tilton Police and charged with being in possession of methamphetamine with the intent to sell it.

After appearing in Belknap County Superior Court on Aug. 15, DeForge pleaded not guilty but there were some inconsistencies with his previous record leading the judge to hold him on cash bail and schedule a second bail hearing, leaving DeForge distraught and confused.

After getting in the sheriff's vehicle, he slid though a window while stopped in traffic at the corner of Main Street and Pleasant Street. The transporting deputy caught up to him almost immediately but slipped in the ensuing struggle allowing DeForge to head toward the Soda Shoppe.

An onlooker slowed DeForge down, and he was promptly arrested by two Laconia Police Officers.

As to the initial charge of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute it, DeForge pleaded guilty to felony possession and was sentenced to 2 1/2 to 5 years, consecutive to the escape sentence, but all of it was suspended pending good behavior and the successful completion of a drug and alcohol program.

He will be in probation for a total of seven years after his release.

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Gilford Gift Outlet to close after 30 years

By BRENDAN SORRELL, for THE LACONIA DAILY SUN

GILFORD — The Gilford Gift Outlet is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, but at the end of the summer will be closing for good. Unlike some gift shops in the area, the Gilford Gift Outlet is going out on its own terms, finishing off another successful year. After 30 years in the location at Patrick's Place that allowed owner Eric Young to open two other gift stores in New Hampshire, it's now time to scale back and look towards retirement.
Young was studying marine science and planning on working on research vessels when failing a vision test kept him from gaining a Coast Guard certification. He transferred schools and went into the family card and gift business. After 10 years of working for the family, it was time for him to branch out on his own, and he knew the perfect spot. His father, Robert, had built the building that is now home to Patrick's Pub and a New Hampshire Liquor Store, along with the Gilford Gift Outlet. When Eric Young moved into the location in his father's building, he said, "It was a very quiet corner."
"What put the plaza on the map," Young said, "was Walter Kelleher opening up Patrick's." The addition of Patrick's added greatly to the amount of traffic the Gift Outlet received. More people were noticing the Gilford Gift Outlet as they came to the plaza, and people waiting to get into Patrick's would stop in and peruse. Many small gift stores have had great locations and been unable to stay in business as larger chains that sell greeting cards and gifts centered on life on the lake have prospered at the smaller businesses' expense.
Given the seasonal nature of sales of such items in the area and the many economic swings we have seen over the last 30 years, it might come as a surprise to many that the Gilford Gift Outlet has been open full time, seven days a week, year-round since its inception. Young explains that he does this so that his employees can have consistent pay year-round, and it is obvious that his employees appreciate his support. One employee, Laureen, even goes as far as to say "I don't think I could ever work for anyone else."
As for the business the gift shop does, Young said his T-shirt and sweatshirt business is phenomenal, making up 25 percent of sales. Yankee Candle has been a huge boost in recent years as well. Some smaller sales phenomena that have occurred over the years are certainly more apparent to people in Young's trade. During an economic downturn the business was making do but incurring some debts when the Beanie Baby craze hit. Young said "Beanie Babies kept a lot of stores like mine going." The sales of these specialized stuffed animals was so great that his store immediately increased its profits by a substantial margin and went on to have a great sales year.
These days, when people come into the store and see the store's closing sale in progress, they often say "I'm so sorry you're leaving" and wonder where they're going to go next summer. This sentiment is greatly appreciated on the part of Young, and while it is bittersweet in a certain sense he believes it is the right decision. The store will be open through Sept. 20, with large mark-downs, as they sell to the bare walls.

09-07 gift store closes

The Gilford Gift Outlet will close Sept. 21 after 30 years in its location next to Patrick's Pub. (Brendan Sorrell/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

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