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Man accused of burglarizing Gilmanton home on same day he was in court to answer to another charge

GILMANTON — A local man who had appeared in circuit court earlier in the day has been charged with breaking into the home of one of his relative's neighbors.

According to Gilmanton Police affidavits obtained from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division, John "Jack" P. Geddis, 23, now of Pine Hill Road in Gilmanton but formerly of Mountain View Terrace in Belmont entered the Foss Road home on November 7 through a sliding glass window.

Records show Geddis had appeared in circuit court in Laconia earlier that same day and had pleaded innocent to drug possession — a charged that stemmed from an arrest on September 18 by the Belmont Police. He had been freed on $1,000 personal recognizance bail.

"I think he still had his court clothes on," said Gilmanton Police Chief Joe Collins, referring to the November 7 burglary.

Affidavits said police were notified by Geddis's uncle who lives next door to the victim's home and who said he saw his nephew go into the house. He said he tried to approach Geddis but said he fled into the woods.

Collins's court affidavit said he interviewed the homeowner and learned some money (about $80) was missing from one of her bedrooms. She also told him Geddis didn't have permission to be in her house.

After his appearance in circuit court on November 12 for the most recent burglary, Judge Jim Carroll ordered him held on $10,000 cash-only bail. As of last night, Geddis is still incarcerated in the Belknap County House of Corrections.

The Daily Sun has learned that Geddis also allegedly broke into his uncle's Foss road home on September 14 and stole money.

He was indicted by a Belknap County grand jury last week for one count each of burglary and theft by unauthorized taking for the September 14 allegation. The indictment said the amount stolen was greater than $1,500.

Geddis is scheduled for arraignment in the Belknap County Superior Court on Thursday.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 November 2013 01:49

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3 Winnipesaukee coves closed to rafting

MEREDITH — The New Hampshire Department of Safety (DOS) has prohibited "rafting" at Round, Fish and Flag coves on Lake Winnipesaukee in response to a petition presented by neighboring property owners.

In 1983 the Legislature authorized the DOS to define and regulate rafting and since 1947 property owners have been entitled to petition the department to impose operating restrictions on water bodies within or bordering municipalities. The practice of "rafting-up" involves getting two or more craft, often many, to anchor very close together for the purpose of socializing.

Cheri Pierce, whose family has owned property on Flag Cove since 1945, submitted a petition in August and the DOS held a public hearing in September, at which eight residents spoke in favor and none against forbidding rafting in the three coves. Moreover, another 13 residents submitted letters supporting the petition.

The petitioners claimed that rafting posed a safety hazard in and around the narrow, shallow inlets where the most of the water is less than six feet deep and nowhere exceeds 12 feet in depth while much of the navigable area in between 150 feet and 200 feet wide. Moreover, the shallow, warm waters and fertile sediment provide ideal conditions for milfoil, the growth and spread of which is fostered by the repeated dropping and hauling of anchors of rafting boats. The coves also provide nesting sites for loons as well as habitat for other species of wildlife. Finally. residents complained that rafting is often presents a nuisance, primarily the disposal of trash in the lake.

Unless the decision of the DOS is appealed within 30 days, the agency will draft rules to implement the ban.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 November 2013 01:37

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2nd company advises Belmont Fire's engine 2 is not worth refurbishing

BELMONT — Fire Chief Dave Parenti said yesterday that he has gotten a second opinion regarding the condition of Engine 2 and has recommended to the town administrator that it not be refurbished.

Gary Wadland, a shop foreman for McDevitt Truck in Manchester, said, "I do not believe in my professional opinion it would be in your best interest to invest in refurbishing this unit."

McDevitt's opinion is similar to the one Parenti received on November 4 from Repair Service of New England (RSNE) that evaluated the engine, air system, brake system and radiator.

"Professionally speaking, I would not recommend putting the time nor the money into this unit not knowing what other issues may arise," wrote RSNE owner Ricky Gagnon.

Parenti has discussed adding a warrant article to the 2014 warrant for a $200,000 refurbishment of the engine but had told selectmen he wanted to have the truck evaluated — especially for rusted frame rails.

The RSNE report was presented to selectmen two weeks ago, however no mention was made of the condition of the frame and Selectman Jon Pike asked for a second opinion.

Along with the same problems identified by RSNE with the engine, radiator, air system and brakes, McDevitt said the "major decline is the frame rail and body rust, of what we can see and can't see."

He went on to say that "there is no repair for frame rails having rust between them, only the replacement of the rails."

Parenti said yesterday that Engine 2 is the third engine to respond to a fire. It is a 1997 Pierce ES460. He said that if the department were to refurbish it, he would expect to use it for 10 more years — five as a second line truck and five as a third line truck.

Should the selectmen choose not to refurbish it, he would placing it on the town warrant for 2015 and having it in service by early 2016.

There are three engines in Belmont, said Parenti. Engine 1 is the first response vehicle and is two years old. He said it is scheduled for replacement in 2031. Engine 3 is the second truck to respond and is scheduled for replacement in 2020.

Parenti said Engine 1 is the primary attack engine while Engine 3 is primary used during a fire as a water source. Currently, Engine 2 works as a replacement for either of those two engines when they are out of service for repairs or for simultaneous calls.

Selectmen were scheduled to review the two recommendations at their meeting yesterday.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 November 2013 01:30

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Lawyers argue about admissibility of evidence on off day for Eric Grant trial

LACONIA — Attorneys representing the Belknap County prosecutor and Eric Grant, who is on trial for aggravated felonious sexual assault, met briefly in a motions hearing yesterday to argue whether or not a judge should allow evidence that the alleged victim was harming herself.

Grant is on trial for for allegedly digitally penetrating the girl, 10 at the time, at a 2006 New Year's Eve party at his house. The girl made her accusations during a therapy session in April of 2012, six years later. She and her immediate family live in California.

At the time of the alleged assault, Grant was married to the girl's mother's sister and they lived in Gilford. The girl and her family were visiting the area.

Asst. Belknap County Prosecutor Carley Ahern had asked the judge on Thursday to allow evidence of self-mutilation after the victim mentioned it while testifying on the first day of Grant's trial.

Ahern said yesterday she has no intention of using evidence of the girl's self-mutilation as evidence of rape. However, she does want to use to illustrate to the jury the girl's state of mind.

She said once the girl's mother knew she was no longer self-harming, the girl started smoking pot. Ahern said it's an attempt by the state to show the girl was "struggling."

Emily McLaughlin, who is defending Grant, has objected to admitting the self-harming for a number of reasons. She said yesterday that if Ahern is not eliciting the girl's self-harming as evidence then she has contradicted what she told the court in a hearing on Thursday.

"I thought long and hard about how to defend this case," McLaughlin said to Judge James O'Neill, arguing yesterday that self-harming testimony would entail the use of expert witnesses and she was assured before the trial that Ahern would not be presenting any expert testimony nor would she need to prepare for it.

She also filed a motion requesting O'Neill stops Belknap County Deputy Sheriff Judy Estes from presenting any expert testimony. Estes investigated the case of behalf of the sheriff's department and is scheduled to testify today.

Ahern said she didn't object and was only going to elicit testimony from Estes about her investigation of the case and not as an "expert," presumably of rape or any psychological aftermath of rape.

McLaughlin also requested that the most recent written motions and their written responses be sealed — meaning only the attorneys and the judge and his clerks have access to them.

Ahern said she has no objections so O'Neill granted McLaughlin's motion, although he noted most of the recent revelations have been made in open testimony.

O'Neill said he would issue his final ruling on whether or not the self-mutilation as well as two family pictures apparently showing the girl and Grant together on two separate vacations after the alleged rape can be admitted.

McLaughlin wanted the two pictures entered as evidence — meaning the jury would be able to see them. Ahern has objected because she said they are two moments in time and are not reflective of the overall feelings of the girl toward her uncle.

During testimony last week, the alleged victim, her mother and her step-father all testified that after the alleged assault on New Year's Eve of 2006 she didn't want to be around Grant.

He mother testified that she forced the girl to be nice when Grant and he and his family visited them in California the next year and that she made her go to Jamaica on a family trip in 2011.

No jurors were present for Thursday's argument nor were they present yesterday. Testimony is scheduled to resume at 10 a.m. this morning.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 November 2013 01:27

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