LACONIA – Accused kidnapper and rapist Nathaniel Kibby, 35, appeared for the first time in Belknap County Superior Court yesterday for the first of three scheduled days of hearings about his pending trial.
Kibby, who was dressed in a blue shirt and khaki pants, sat next to his four-person defense team headed by the lead attorney of the Belknap County Public Defenders office, Jesse Friedman, and was in constant communication with him. The four-person prosecution team was led by New Hampshire Associate Attorney General Jane Young.
Extra security for Courtroom 2, which is the smaller of two courtrooms, was provided by the Belknap County Sheriff's Department, which had two officers posted at the entry to it. Security around the rest of the building appeared to be normal. Three people – two women and a man – attended yesterday's hearings as observers. State and local news crews were also on hand.
In a case that's drawn national attention, Kibby was indicted on 205 separate charges that include kidnapping his then 14-year-old alleged victim in North Conway on Oct. 9 while she was walking home from school and allegedly holding her prisoner and repeatedly raping her in his Gorham home and a storage trailer until this July.
With Judge Larry Smukler presiding, the defense and prosecution had agreed earlier this year that the charges from Carroll and Coos County would be consolidated and heard in Belknap County. Kibby faces a 206th charge of threatening Young, for which he will be tried separately. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that a motion to remove Young as prosecutor was denied.
Smukler has or will hear argument for 20 motions from the both the prosecution and the defense regarding evidence, testimony, and some preliminary housekeeping items during the three days set aside for them. In some instances he will rule from the bench ,and in others he will weigh the arguments and issue his decisions in writing.
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