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Eric Grant trial scheduled to start Tuesday but role to be played by therapist & her notes still up in air

LACONIA — The attorney for Eric Grant continued to press the court to allow the records of the therapist who interviewed a now teenaged girl who has accused the singer of sexual assault at a New Years Eve party in 2006.

Atty. Emily McLaughlin renewed her plea in Belknap County Superior Court yesterday morning for allowing the notes of the therapist's interview with the alleged victim be used to impeach the testimony of the victim.

McLaughlin reiterated her request because she said her efforts to speak with the girl's counselor have been unfruitful and the subpoena to have her appear in court has yet to be served by the California sheriff's office charged with that duty. The trial is scheduled to begin Tuesday morning and the jury has already been selected.

The notes have been reviewed "in camera" or privately by O'Neill.

McLaughlin said that in one of the girl's initial statements to her therapist she said she was digitally assaulted by Grant in a room full of people that included her mother and her grandmother and that she screamed for help but no one helped her.

According to McLaughlin, the alleged victim told different stories at different times to different people — including the investigator and the therapist — about what she alleges happened that night and who was in the room to witness it.

McLaughlin said that in light of her repeated attempts to get the therapist to New Hampshire — something she said she has tried to do since Grant was indicted — the jury should be allowed to consider the notes as a rebuttal to the alleged victim's testimony.

"What's appropriate is a live witness," said Asst. Prosecutor Carley Ahern who objects to allowing the jury to review the notes.

She said agreeing to admit the therapist's statements is premature and that the defense has conceded that her mother was present in the past. "Any evidence can be fleshed out from the mother," said Ahern.

McLaughlin rebutted by saying that if the state wanted evidence then they should of made an effort to get her to New Hampshire.

"This gentleman," she said gesturing toward Grant, "is on trial for his life. No fair trial can be conducted without the notes."

She said the court should allow the records to be admitted and not let the witness's unavailability be introduced.

Grant has maintained his innocence since his December 2012 indictment. He has been free on personal recognizance bail.

Judge O'Neill said he would take the motions and oral arguments under advisement. As of 3 p.m. Friday, he had not issued a ruling.

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 November 2013 01:36

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Laconia Veteran's Day Ceremony will be at 11 on Monday morning

LACONIA — The city will mark Veterans Day with a ceremony honoring the men and women of the armed services on Monday, Nov. 11 beginning at 11 a.m, the day and the hour the guns fell silent to bring the First World War to an close 95 years ago.

The ceremony in Veterans Park will be conducted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 1670 and will feature remarks by post Commander Glen Groleau, the Commander of the American Legion Wilkins-Smith Post 1 and Mike Seymour, the Mayor of Laconia as well as a performance by a choral group from Laconia High School.

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 November 2013 01:18

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Teen said to have threatened to kill parents while they slept

LACONIA — A 17-year-old teen was released on personal recognizance bail and ordered to live with his grandmother after he allegedly threatened to stab his mother and step-father while they were sleeping.

Police affidavits said Christopher Dame, 17, had been arguing with them took a swing at his step-father who said he restrained him by the arms.

The step-father said that when he stopped holding Dame, Dame pulled a steak knife from a kitchen drawer and allegedly threatened him with it. They were allegedly about seven or eight feet from each other.

Dame is said to have returned the knife to the drawer and the two continued to argue. The step-father said the teen grabbed the knife again and raised it a second time saying to him and his step-mother, "I'll just wait until you go to bed and I'll stab you both in your sleep."

Police said Dame's mother confirmed the step-father's story and both said he made them very nervous. The two also said there was a 5-year-old in the house.

Police said that after the threats, Dame allegedly went into the living room and picked up an electric guitar and smashed it on the floor.

He is charged with two felony counts of criminal threatening with a deadly weapon and one misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief.

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 November 2013 01:16

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Glory Days: Trio of LHS sports heroes recalls exploits from the 1940s

LACONIA — Sixty five years ago, a trio of Laconia High School athletes, who between them had earned 26 varsity letters, were featured in an article written by Sam Clevenson in the Laconia Evening Citizen which recalled their past exploits and detailed their plans for the future.
Those three men, now 83 years old, gathered recently to look at old newspaper clippings and reminisce in what might be called a Bruce Springsteen song ''Glory Days'' moment, about the Laconia sports scene in the 1940s.
The three ''Men of Letters'', as described in a caption beneath their photo, were Jeep Munsey, Milo Pike and Leo ''Pat'' McGrath, all of whom earned four letters in baseball.
''A lot of the seniors had joined the Army so we got to play varsity baseball as freshman,'' said Pike, who in his high school career would win 20 of 29 varsity pitching starts, including all five that he made against Franklin, described in the article as a major rival, as well as games against Cathedral and Central of Manchester and Nashua, while hitting over .300 in three of his four seasons.
''Laconia was a great baseball town back then.'' McGrath recalls, noting that his first experience at baseball was playing on an Industrial League team along with his father and grandfather. ''That's where we learned baseball. There weren't any Little League teams then and we learned in our backyards and in pickup games,'' says McGrath, who played the infield for Laconia High School for four years and hit .362 one season, and, along with Pike and Munsey, played American Legion baseball during the summers after the high school season was over.
He homered in one of those Legion games at Kelley Park in Bristol, pulling a ball over the right field fence off of Bill Marston, one of then best high school pitchers in New Hampshire. Marston outdueled Pike that die, though Pike struck out 10 in eight innings, in a 2-1 loss. Marston struck out 12 while allowing only three hits in that victory and was only 15 at the time.
McGrath, who earned three letters in football as well as two letters in basketball, recalls former Red Sox catcher Birdie Tebbetts of Nashua bringing a team of Red Sox players to the Pearl Street grounds in 1948, just after they had lost a playoff game to the Cleveland Indians.
''The major league pitcher pitched against the Red Sox hitters and out pitcher pitched against our hitters. It was really something to see big league players in Laconia,'' says McGrath.
McGrath also recalls Laconia hosting the House of David baseball team, who gained fame for their beards and barnstormed the country during the 1920s until the early 1950s playing local teams. Among those playing on the House of David team against Laconia was Walter Peterson, who would in 1968 and 1970 win the New Hampshire governorship.
''He wore a fake beard during the game and would keep lifting it up and smiling at us,'' recalls McGrath.
Munsey, who earned three letters in football and was a unanimous pick as an All-State running back, also earned three letters in basketball, as did Pike. He was the only one who went on to play sports in college, serving in the Navy before attending the University of New Hampshire, where he co-captained the football team, set punting records which still stand to this day and once gained 151 yards in 12 carries against Vermont while scoring three touchdowns. He also played basketball and baseball at UNH.
McGrath also served in the Navy, declining an athletic scholarship at Saint Michael's College after fellow LHS football player Peter ''Beau'' Lessard, who was also headed to St. Michael's, decided instead to attend Syracuse University. He would later work for Pike's paving company.
Pike, who had been in line for a baseball scholarship at Wake Forest, attended Norwich University but went into the family paving business in 1949.
''I had seven men, two trucks and a wheelbarrow to work with'' Pike says of his first summer on the job.
''We never saw a baseball, basketball or football until we got to high school,'' Pike recalls, saying that Munsey, who was a natural athlete, adapted the most easily to all three sports. Pike was frequently the high scorer for the high school basketball team, scoring 15 points in a come from behind 36-33 win over Spaulding High School of Rochester and 15 in a 36-35 loss to Spaulding which Laconia lost on a last minute basket.
Munsey, who once had a 29 game hitting streak in baseball, recalls that the city had at least four teams playing in a city league which featured players such as John Lyman, Warren McVey, Ray Simoneau, Peanut Lamere and Norman ''Farmer'' Hubbard, and an All-Star team which played teams from other cities.
''There used to 250 to 300 people at our games,'' recalls Pike, who says that the immediate post World War II era was a golden age of sports for Laconia, whose football teams competed against and defeated teams from cities like Nashua and Manchester.
Numbers tell a lot about the relative decline of Laconia's competitiveness. In 1950 Laconia had a population of 14,745 (not counting Gilford), compared to 13,776 for Rochester, 15,874 for Dover, and 34,669 for Nashua. Since then the other cities have doubled their population while Laconia has added only 1,000 residents.
''When we played sports there was no television to speak of and people were engaged in their community in a way that's just not possible today. It was a fun era, an exciting time to be involved in sports,'' recalls McGrath.
Pike says that until recently when Munsey had knee surgery the trio of 1948 LHS graduates frequently got together for golf and that he and McGrath were out on the Laconia Country Club course as recently as last week.
''We still like to talk about the good old days,'' says Pike, who jokes that ''the older we get, the better we were.''


Milo Pike, Leo 'Pat' McGrath and George P. 'Jeep' Munsey, members of the Class of 1948 at Laconia High School, earned 26 varsity letters between them during their high school careers. (Roger Amsden/ for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Friday, 08 November 2013 02:33

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