Laconia arsonist Jason Clairmont facing assault allegations in Concord

By BEA LEWIS, for The Laconia Daily Sun

LACONIA — A former Laconia man who served a prison term after being convicted of a string of arson fires in the city is now scheduled to stand trial in Concord on charges he seriously injured a man he assaulted.

Jason Clairmont, 39, of 19 Ormond St., Concord, is accused of two counts of second-degree assault. On June 24, 2016, Clairmont is alleged to have repeatedly punched a man in the head causing facial fractures and causing him to fall and suffer a break in his left upper arm above the elbow. The assaults are reported to have occurred at 125 Loudon Road in Concord.

Initially ordered held on $1,000 cash bail, a judge agreed to allow it to revert to $10,000 personal recognizance for four days in mid-December to allow Clairmont to travel to Massachusetts to pay his final respects to his father, prior to his removal from life support.

In arguing against the bail amendment, Prosecutor George Waldron said Clairmont was charged with two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of simple assault, criminal threatening and obstructing the report of a crime in connection with the incident. Police initially also charged him with kidnapping for confining the man in his truck, but it was dismissed after a circuit court judge found no probable cause.

The dismissal, Waldron said, does not preclude the state from presenting the allegations to a grand jury for possible indictment.
Waldron said Clairmont is accused of breaking the victim's arm by throwing him to the ground and fracturing his eye socket by pummeling him, while confining him in a vehicle being driven by the defendant while threatening the man with what the victim believed was a firearm.

The case is now scheduled to go to trial in mid-July. As conditions of his release on bail, Clairmont was ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim, or drink any alcohol.

In July 2014, Clairmont admitted that he set fire to a Volkswagen Jetta parked at a residence on Academy Street, and also burned the lattice work on an enclosed porch of a home at 91 Highland St. He also confessed to having previously torched the convertible top of a second Volkswagen parking behind the Funky Monkey the prior fall.

He was sentenced to 1 to 5 years in prison and ordered to pay more than $21,000 in restitution to his victims.

Shaker Regional teacher raises to come from ‘retained earnings’


BELMONT — Next year's raises for Shaker teachers will come from "retained earnings," or money already in the school district's account, rather than additional taxes, after Shaker Regional School District Board members voted Tuesday to amend a warrant article on the teacher contract.

The amendment, said school district Business Administrator Debbie Thompson, will eliminate any increase in the next year's tax rate to pay for the requested salaries and benefits amount of $226,256, which would have cost taxpayers 29 cents per $1,000 in property value in Belmont and 22 cents per $1,000 valuation in Canterbury, in the local portions of their rates based on 2015 valuations.

"The purpose is the lessen the tax impact of the contract," said Thompson Wednesday morning. "We don't want it to be an obstacle to getting the contract passed."

Thompson went on to say that the School Board values its teachers and wants the voters of Belmont and Canterbury to know that it supports the negotiated contract.

Thompson said the district was able to retain $376,762 from the end of the 2015-16 school year or 2.5 percent of the total school budget for that year.

She said the purpose of allowing school districts to retain earnings from surpluses from previous year's budgets is for emergencies or to offset the tax rate and in this case, the board decided to use about 60 percent of the retained earnings to offset next year's tax rate.

She said there are two additional warrant articles to be funded from the same source, which are $75,000 deposit into the school facilities and grounds expendable trust fund and $10,000 to be deposited into the technology expendable trust fund, and there is enough money in the retained earnings to fund all of them.

The proposed teacher contract will cost taxpayers about $1.7 million over the next three years if it passes. 

Threatened with rifle

City man arrested after incident on Union Avenue


LACONIA — A local man who allegedly threatened a motorist with a rifle on Union Avenue Wednesday afternoon is being held on $10,000 cash bail while he awaits an appearance in Belknap County Superior Court this Thursday.

01-25 James EddyCapt. Matthew Canfield said that James Eddy, 25, of 117 Union Ave. was standing outside of 123 Union Ave. at 2:21 p.m. holding what was described by the alleged victim as a rifle.

The man told police that when he passed Eddy, Eddy allegedly lowered the rifle to his hip and made shooting gestures before leveling it and pointing at him. Canfield said the alleged victim and Eddy do not know each other.

Canfield said police responded and got a better description of a man they later determined was Eddy. He said police went into the common areas of the apartment building and located a maintenance man who corroborated the alleged victim's story.

Canfield said police also learned from the maintenance man that he saw Eddy put the rifle into the trunk of a car parked in the building's lot.

Police learned the car belonged to Eddy and had it towed to the police station. Canfield said they were applying for a warrant to search it.

Eddy was found by police walking along Union Avenue near Arch Street and was taken into custody without incident.

He is charged with one count of felony reckless conduct and one count of felony criminal threatening.