Large group of Prospect Mountain students in court, to learn

CIRCUIT COURT — About 50 students from the ninth grade civics class at Prospect Mountain High School in Alton spent the morning in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division as part of a lesson on how courts and the judicial system works.

Presiding Judge Jim Carroll greeted the students and queried them briefly on their knowledge of the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and how those protections works.

Carroll also questioned them about the meaning of Veteran's Day.

He told them they should be especially respectful of the men and women who have served in the armed forces who have fought and died so students like them could have the rights afforded them under the Constitution.

"We have a duty as citizens to at least know what our rights are," Carroll told them.

The students were accompanied by civics teacher Kim Kelliher, substitute civics teacher Brian Stuart, a guidance councilor, Laurie Maheu and School Resource Office Sean Sullivan.

Each year, all ninth grade social studies students attend a court room session withing the N.H. Judiciary.


CUTLINE: Prospect Mountain High School ninth graders attend a session at the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division yesterday. (Laconia Daily Sun Photo/Gail Ober)

Smith Cove sailing school gets town approval

GILFORD — The Planning Board Monday night granted site plan approval to the Lake Winnipesaukee Sailing Association for a sailing school on Smith Cove which will operate from a .64-acre lot with 160 feet of shorefront property at 25 Davis Road.
The association used the property for a school this past summer on the basis of a three-month temporary approval, which the planning board granted in June. The property is located next to a plot of land on Smith Cove owned by the Winnipesaukee Yacht Club, which along with nearby Fay's Boat Yard have been among the chief supporters of the non-profit sailing association since it was first formed in 1988.
The LWSA acquired the property for $595,000 earlier this year, after a seven-year search to find a location for the school, which serves youths aged 6 to 16 and also offers instruction for disadvantaged sailors. The former single-family lot is now classified as a marina, which is a permitted use in the lakefront zone.
The approval came following a public hearing Monday night at which several changes in the application proposed by abutter Jim Sawyer were mostly agreed to by LWSA President Kevin Hayes.
The association has agreed to erect a fence between their property and Sawyer's but Sawyer said he was concerned that in the future their might be efforts to use the property for socials, weddings and birthday parties. He said that it was too small for those kind of uses, as well as for the kind of clubhouse which the association had once sought permission from the state to build at Ellacoya State Park.
Sawyer said he had no objections to the association holding its annual meetings at the Davis Road location but said he didn't want to see ''something going on every weekend'' which would affect all those who live in the area.
Hayes said that there were no plans to rent out the three buildings on the property, a single-family home, a two-car garage and a small storage building, for any social gatherings, nor any plans to create a clubhouse on the property and described the Ellacoya plan as ''something that still haunts us. That's not what we're going to do here.''
He also said that Sawyer's assertion that the association had 200 members was incorrect. ''We have 20 and if we got 200 we would be moving off from Davis Road because having 200 members would mean we had a lot of money,'' said Hayes.
Joseph Bernard, who lives at 18 Davis Road, said that he was still opposed to the proposal saying that the sailing club ''started with 30 kids and could get up to 200'' and that he had heard plans for use of the property during the winter months.
''The lot is too small. It's just a postage stamp. And having the school here will affect the neighborhood as well as Smith Cove, which is the most densely populated boating area on Lake Winnipesaukee,'' said Bernard.
The board took up the site plan following two other public hearings Monday night and eventually approved it. Several conditions were attached to the approval according to Jon Ayer, town planner, who said that they were added to address concerns expressed by abutters about potential, future uses of the property.

The Lake Winnipesaukee Sailing Association has received approval from the Gilford Planning Board to operate a sailing school on Smith Cove. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Stinson Lake shooter won't be charged with murder or any other crime

RUMNEY — The man who shot an area chiropractor during an altercation between the two at Stinson Lake on June 29 will not face criminal charges.

According to a report issued by the N.H. Attorney General, the state would not be able to prove that Edward Healey, 61, of Randolph, Mass. was not acting in self-defense when he fatally shot David Landseadel, 48, of Rumney.

"In light (of the investigation), Edward Healey's conduct will not be ruled justified, but no criminal charges will be brought against him for causing David Landseadel's death" concluded the report.

According to the report, Healey and Landseadel had a history of acrimony dating back to the summer of 2013 when the two men and their wives were involved in a lakeside, verbal altercation that turned physical between the two men.

Although the 2013 fight was never reported to police, witnesses said Landseadel went on to Healey's sailboat and began choking him. The two were separated but had not spoken since the incident. There was also continual tension between the two families over access to a community dock.

The 2013 incident began when wet dogs belonging to the Landseadels began shaking in vicinity of the Healeys. Ms. Healey referenced Ms. Landseadel with a vulgar four-letter noun and the fight between the men commenced.

On June 29 of this year, police investigators determined that the Landseadels had been kayaking and the Healeys had been out on their sailboat. Both David Landseadel and Edward Healey had been drinking alcohol and the coroner later determined Landseadel's blood alcohol content was .20 – or twice the legal drinking limit on .08.

Healey was armed with a .38 caliber handgun — it was in a soft container in his cooler — and held a valid concealed weapon carry permit. Investigators determined that Healey regularly carried a gun. Healey admitted to having a few drinks. His wife told police he had consumed four rum and cokes.

In the year since the 2013 altercation and the fatal shooting, Healey has suffered a minor stroke and had some residual weakness on his right side. Healey said he lacked dexterity in that he couldn't pickup a penny but could grip a coffee cup.

There were only three eye-witnesses to the shooting — Healey, his wife Christine and Lanseadale.

Police said there are some inconsistencies in Healey's own story including some spontaneous utterances during his first interview at the Plymouth Police Station and his interview 11 days later also at the same station.

Healey initially said that Landseadel had come down from his house and was sitting cross-legged on a landing between two staircases that led from the lake to Stinson Lake Road. Healey and his wife were sitting in their sailboat. He said Healey came down to his boat and knocked his tooth out.

During this interview he told police he remembered getting beaten by Landseadel the year before.

Healey had a second interview with police on July 10 and was represented by a lawyer. An attorney from the A.G.'s office was also present.

He told them that time that Landseadel was sitting cross-legged on the mid-staircase platform and that he and his wife could not return to their homes without walking past him. He said that he and his wife walked up the stairs and Landseadel jumped up and notified them that he had a right to be there.

Healey said Landseadel attacked him and knocked him down on his back on the landing. He told police that Landseadel "proceeded to beat the living (expletive) (out) of me."

He said Landseadel was kneeling on his arm and chest while punching him. He said his left arm was pinned to the ground and his right arm was weak from the stroke and he was unable to punch back.

Healey said he "felt there was no way out" and that he was going to die and his wife would be next.

Healey's cooler had dropped next to him on his right side. He told police he knew the revolver was inside the cooler, so he reached inside for it, raised his arm and fired it without aiming it.

He told police that as soon as the gun went off, Landseadel "popped off like he was having a spasm" and dropped on to his back.

He said his actions after that were unclear. Healey's wife told a similar story to his adding that she went up the stairs to a neighbor's for help.

She told police that "Eddie didn't like being beat up, so he pulled out a gun and shot him."

The physical evidence, said police, showed Landseadel was lying on his back on the landing and blood was pooling behind his head. A black gun holster was found under his leg. Blood was also found on a tree branch about two feet above the ground and police said the blood evidence was consistent with the gun being fired during a struggle on the ground.

The autopsy showed Landseadel died from a single gunshot wound to the head fired from a range of six inches to two feet.

"In summary, given the differing physical condition between (Healey) and (Landseadel), the prior incident where (Lanseadel) choked (Healey), the intoxication of both men, their history of animosity, the nature of the landing where the altercation occurred, and the fact that there are no indipendent witnesses or other evidence to refute (Healey's) self-defense claim, the State would be unable to disprove (Healey's) self-defense claim beyond a reasonable doubt at trial," concluded the report.

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King's Grant owner sues Gilford officials over 2011 raid

CONCORD — Will Drew, the owner of Kelsey's at the Grant, the watering hole and exotic-dancing night club in Gilford, has filed suit against the state of New Hampshire and the town of Gilford, along with half a dozen agents of each, charging that their actions before and after October 18, 2011 when the New Hampshire Drug Task Force raided the nightclub, then operating under independent management as Mardi Gras North, violated his constitutional rights and damaged his reputation.

Historically, Drew's property has been known as King's Grant Inn.

The suit names the Drug Task Force, together with James Norris, its commander, and Adam Fanjoy, one of its agents, as well as the town, its then selectmen — John O'Brien, Gus Benavides and Kevin Hayes — and town administrator Scott Dunn. All persons are named both individually and in their official capacities. Claiming losses to his business and reputation, Drew seeks compensatory, enhanced compensatory and damages against the defendants jointly and severally. He has asked for a jury trial.

Filed by attorney David Bownes of Laconia, the suit charges that the Drug Task Force, accompanied by agents of the New Hampshire Liquor Commission and officials of the town of Gilford, "conducted a broad search of the premises which plainly exceeded the scope and authority of the warrant" in violation of the fourth and fourteenth amendments of the United States Constitution, by which all persons are secured against "unreasonable searches and seizures" and guaranteed "due process" and "equal protection" of the law.

Furthermore, following the raid on the club and proceedings before the Liquor Commission, Bownes alleges that Dunn and the selectmen "used artifice and pretext" for more than a year to deny Drew's application for a live entertainment license that included exotic dancing, in clear violation of his first amendment rights. In 2003, when a different Board of Selectmen in Gilford denied a similar application, Drew, who was represented by Bownes, prevailed in federal court, where Judge Steven McAuliffe struck down the town's licensing policy on exotic dancing as a "prior restraint on a particular type of artistic speech."

The current suit stems from an investigation into drug trafficking at the night club, that began in June, 2011. During the investigation undercover agents of the Drug Task Force purchased illicit drugs from a number of female dancers working at the club.

Though Drew was not involved in the management of Mardi Gras North, the operators were using his liquor license.

In October, Fanjoy obtained a warrant to search the club for illicit drugs, drug paraphernalia, items, documents and records related to drug trafficking, evidence of proceeds from drug sales or of resources for drug purchases, items identifying the occupants and owners of the property, devices for monitoring police communications and firearms, ammunition and dangerous weapons. Fanjoy also secured arrest warrants for six employees of the club.

The suit claims that the Drug Task Force and its agents never requested "an administrative warrant for the search of the premises or asked that any independent state or town authorities be permitted to inspect the premises.

Bownes notes that at least four agents of the New Hampshire Liquor Commission conducted an inspection at the club. Likewise, he claims that the Gilford selectmen, along with the town administrator, police chief, fire chief, code enforcement officer and director of Public Works also entered the building with "the sole purpose of inspecting the interior of the commercial building for town code violations contrary to the clear mandate of the search warrant and contrary to established law." The suit charges that neither the inspections to investigate violations of liquor laws or town codes "were supported by probable cause" and both were undertaken in violation of the fourth and fourteenth amendments.

The day after the search the Board of Selectmen asked the Liquor Commission to revoke Drew's license. The commission charged Drew with seven violations of liquor laws and, following a hearing in May, 2012, found evidence of three — serving an intoxicated patron, allowing an employee to drink while working, and giving away free drinks — and imposed a fine of $350 and suspended his license for three days.

In July, Drew applied for a license to stage exotic dancing. Dunn presented him with a list of a dozen densely worded questions and "strongly suggested" he address them. He asked Drew to provide photo identification of managerial employees, licenses for presenting copyrighted music and copies of all citations, notices and decisions issued by the Liquor Commission to all businesses entities operating under his jurisdiction at 15 Kimball Road. "Although you are not legally required to answer these questions," Dunn closed, I anticipate that any refusal on your part to demonstrate a genuine sense of cooperation in dealing with these matters will likely result in the denial of your license. Furthermore," he continued, "your responses will be used by me in making my final recommendation to the Board of Selectmen on your application."

Bownes describes the questions as "simply a pretext in that he (Dunn) had expressed both publicly and privately in the past that he would do all in his power to ensure that Kelsey's at the Grant was not able to obtain a live entertainment license that included exotic dancing." Several of the questions, Bownes noted, referred to allegations for which the Liquor Commission found insufficient evidence.

The suit alleges that when the board considered the application Dunn said that it should be denied "based principally and solely on his view that exotic dancing in the town of Gilford should not be permitted under any conditions." With Benavides dissenting, the board granted Drew a license for live entertainment, but specifically excluded exotic dancing. While O'Brien and Hayes are named for wrongfully inspecting the premises and hindering Drew's application, Benavides is not. Drew submitted a fresh application on behalf of Lakes Region Cafe and Tavern in October, 2013 and, advised by legal counsel that denial would violate his first amendment rights, the board granted it. The club has featured exotic dancing since November 2013.

Throughout consideration of Drew's license application the suit alleges that Dunn and the selectmen maliciously "caused to be published" false and defamatory statements about the property at 15 Kimball Road, including that it had "the elements of a methamphetamine lab," was used for "manufacturing, possession, use, sale and distribution of illegal drugs, and had repeatedly violated liquor laws. As a result Drew "suffered a loss to his reputation and good standing in the community."