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On tape: First alleged victim of former deputy admitted to wanting sex


MANCHESTER — An attorney representing a former Belknap County Deputy who has been indicted for 10 counts of rape is asking a Hillsborough County North judge to admit into evidence a recording the alleged victim had with one of her friends saying she wanted to have sex with him.

The conversation, which was recorded at the Strafford County Jail on Sept. 4, 2015, was given to Ernest Justin Blanchette's lawyer, Brad Davis, in December as part of the state's responsibility to provide him with all of the evidence, including that which may be considered exculpatory.

A snippet of the recording indicates the victim, identified as B.H., informed her friend that she had two lawyers coming to visit her regarding a lawsuit she planned to file. Her friend replied that (a lawsuit) is "just ridiculous" because B.H. was a willing participant.

B.H. said that it didn't matter, to which her friend replied, "It does matter, you've destroyed him."

Blanchette also wants a jury to hear B.H. admitting the sex was "consensual" and the lawyers know it.

Her friend suggests B.H. just want to (have sex with) him, to which B.H. replied, "Of course I did, he's (expletive) sexy."

Blanchette faces one count of having sex with B.H. in an abandoned home in Bedford while he was transporting her from the Belknap County House of Corrections to the New Hampshire State Prison for Women in Goffstown, he has put forward a consent defense.

The prosecution said the law is clear and there can be no consent when one person has custody over another, in this case Blanchette over a prisoner. In two separate matters pending in the Belknap County Superior Court, Blanchette faces two additional counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault against the same victim. He faces seven more rape charges for alleged actions taken with other inmates during official custody and transport.

Blanchette's legal argument is that a statement isn't hearsay, or second hand, if one of the participants plans on taking the stand to testify as a victim. He noted for the court that B.H. is expected to be the primary witness.

He also said that under different rules of evidence, the recording shows that B.H. intends to capitalize on her alleged encounter(s) with Blanchette and that it is evidence of her state of mind.

Davis noted that conversations in jail are routinely recorded and each incarcerated person incarcerated signs a waiver that says he or she understands this.

The prosecution has not replied to the motion. Final pretrial is scheduled for April 25.

County should see increased reimbursements with addition of record-keeping equipment


LACONIA — Record keeping should become easier at the Belknap County Nursing Home as the county has approved the purchase of a dozen kiosks for medical staff to use.

Belknap County Commissioners Wednesday morning approved a request from Belknap County Nursing Home Interim Administrator Bob Hemenway to waive the county's competitive bidding process and award a $19,152 contract for purchase of dozen kiosks for the nursing home to CareWorx.

The change is designed to stem what Hemenway has estimated is a $185,420 yearly loss in Medicaid income due to lack of adequate documentation of services provided for residents.
He has said that most of the seven county nursing homes in the state which have been using an electronic medical records program have turned their situations around and are receiving increased reimbursements.

The kiosks are a key element in implementing an electronic medical records system for the county home and will be paid for with $20,000 in funds set aside from last year's capital improvements budget.
Commissioners were told by County Administrator Debra Shackett that action was imperative as the CareWorx quote for the project, which had been extended by the firm in order to allow the county to finalize its 2016 budget, would expire at the end of the day.
Hemenway said he recommended CareWorx because it has a good working relationship with PointClickCare, which provides software currently used by the nursing home, because its wall mounting system is superior to that of other bidders, and because it has a 24/7 help desk and provides a two-year extended warranty.
Commissioners also approved spending $16,000 for additional hardware for the project, $5,500 with PointClickCare for a server for the system, $5,000 with Mainstay Technologies for a 48-port switch and $5,500 with Northeast Electrical Solutions for wiring. Only $8,850 has been budgeted for that hardware and commissioners will seek to transfer $7,150 from the professional management services line in this year's budget to cover the additional expense.
The commission also approved using $12,440 to cover software costs for the new system.
Hemenway said the new system will be phased in over the next several months and that he doesn't anticipate it being fully functional until the end of the year.

Local man accused of robbery, burglary in 2014 readies for trial


LACONIA — A Belknap County Superior Court Judge has ordered the County Attorney's Office to tell the court how many people will be granted immunity from prosecution so they can testify in the case of former local man who allegedly robbed a Harvard Street house with a gun in June of 2014.

Tyler Twombly, 31, was indicted by a grand jury for two counts of burglary, one count of conspiracy to commit robbery and one count of robbery.

Twombly came before the court on Monday for a "Richards" hearing, in which one of the potential witnesses to the crime asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination.

Belknap County Assistant Attorney Roni Karnis said she couldn't verify if the witness had been offered immunity and said there could be as many as five or six more people who could be offered immunity for their testimony at Twombly's trial. The judge wants all this information before the end of business on Friday.

The state alleges that Twombly and another man entered a home at 54 Harvard St. and "used force against another in the course of the robbery by striking or shooting (the victim) in the back of the head with the firearm and (the victim) was aware of the force.

News accounts at the time said the two were wearing bandanas over their faces and that Twombly allegedly stole some "controlled drugs" from one of the people in the house. Police were notified at 3:25 a.m. on June 25 and said one man from the home was taken to the hospital with some kind of superficial head wound, though at the time they could only confirm a gun had been fired.

Twombly is scheduled for a final pretrial hearing on March 30 and jury selection is scheduled for April 11. Twombley is represented by attorney Mark Sisti.