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Last minute motions in 2011 heroin overdose case charge police are still looking into other theory

LACONIA – One business day before scheduled jury selection, the Manchester man accused of providing the heroin that allegedly killed a 22-year-old mother in March of 2011 has filed a motion to dismiss the case against him, claiming city police and the prosecution have been investigating a different person for injecting her.

Alfredo Gonzales, 46, of Center Street in Manchester is accused of selling the heroin to Karen Mikkelson who in turn sold it to Ashley Denty.

Three others, Karen Mikkelson, Steven Marando, and Amanda Kelly have all pleaded guilty to their roles in Denty's death and are serving or have served sentences in jail or prison.

The crux of Gonzales's motion lies in what attorney Mark Sisti said was an investigation into an alternative theory of Denty's death and, though he just learned of it on August 29, it was information he said the Laconia Police had in April and the County Attorney's Office had in July.

The final pretrial was August 8, and Sisti argued he should have had the information before they agreed on a date to go to trial.

According to Sisti, a different man allegedly said on his Facebook page that he was the one who injected Denty with the heroin. He said Laconia Police applied for and got a warrant for this man's electronic records of which there are 2,000 pages that he hasn't had a chance to read.

"The court deserves an explanation that the state is sitting on exculpatory information" he said. "Now there is an alternative suspect who admits on Facebook he killed the victim."

Assistant County Prosecutor Carley Ahern said she needed until Monday to respond to Sisti's motion. She briefly countered that even if someone else actually stuck the needle in Denty's arm, it doesn't change the case against Gonzales – who is charged with providing the heroin not personally injecting it.

Sisti also filed a motion for discovery, a motion to personally interview the potential jurors, and a motion for Gonzales to be released on personal recognizance bail.

Gonzales has been incarcerated for two years and would agree to wear a bracelet or comply with whatever the court orders if he is freed on bail. He was found not guilty of selling heroin to a confidential informant after a three-day jury trial earlier this year. In an unrelated case, he pleaded guilty to assault on prisoners.

Ahern said he has a previous conviction from Texas for sales of a controlled drug.

Judge James O'Neill said he would give all both parties until Monday at 2:30 p.m. to respond to the motions.

Last Updated on Saturday, 07 September 2013 03:50

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League confirms Leafs (Lakers) won't compete this winter

LACONIA — The Eastern Junior Hockey League announced this week that it has re-worked its 2013-14 regular season schedule to accommodate the revocation of the New Hampshire Lakers franchise for one season. The club was previously knows as the Laconia Leafs.
The league said that the Lakers requested the revocation for the 2013-14 season two weeks ago, as is permitted by league bylaws, and the EHL quickly adopted the revised schedule.
The Daily Sun reported last week that it had learned from multiple sources that the Lakers were planning to take a year off from competing in the newly-formed Eastern Hockey League, which starts play in September, and plan to field a team for the 2014-2015 season.
The Lakers had been looking for a new head coach to replace Joe Cardarelli, who resigned last month, and earlier this month had announced the hiring of Rocky Romanella as an assistant coach who also serve as recruiting coordinator.
The Lakers have played their home games at the Laconia Ice Arena.

Teams in the Eastern League consists of amateur athletes recruited from around the country and world who largely hope to catch the eyes of college scouts.

Last Updated on Friday, 06 September 2013 03:59

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Man alleged to have stolen gun from fishing supply store held on $20k cash bail

LACONIA — A Jackson Street man charged Wednesday with breaking into the Opechee Trading Post and stealing the owner's gun was ordered held on $20,000 cash-only bail yesterday.

Henry A. Rogers, 40, is charged with one count of burglary and one count of theft. In an unrelated incident, he is also charged with simple assault for slapping woman on June 1.

Affidavits said police were able to identify Rogers after his picture ran in local media and police received multiple calls from people who recognized him. At least one police officer also recognized Rogers.

Although Rogers allegedly cut the wires to a surveillance camera and removed the DVD, camera technicians were able to recover a photo of him and broadcast it on television and in a local newspaper.

Should he post bail, Judge Jim Carroll of the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division ordered he have no contact with the victim of the alleged assault unless it is at the jail and is related to information she needs regarding her pregnancy.

He is also ordered to stay off Opechee Street, where the store is located.

Affidavits said once police identified him, they went to his home on Wednesday and initially arrested him for not appearing in court to answer to the simple assault charge. Later that day he was also charged for the burglary and theft.

Police said they asked him where he put the stolen gun and he told them. Affidavits said he told police it was loaded. Another resident of the house told police that he just found out about the burglary and that Rogers had allegedly told him he did it but the resident didn't believe him.

Affidavits said the serial number on the gun matched the one provided by the the gun owner.

Last Updated on Friday, 06 September 2013 03:55

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ZBA to listen to residents reaction to proposed chicken ordinance on Sept. 16

LACONIA — The Zoning Board of Adjustment will hold a public hearing on a proposal to loosen the restrictions on the keeping of chickens in the city at its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, Sept. 16, at 7 p.m in the council chambers at City Hall.
Following the public hearing, the ZBA will make its recommendation to the City Council, which is vested with the ultimate authority to adopt and amend municipal ordinances.
Last month the Zoning Task Force recommended amending the zoning ordinance to permit the keeping of chickens in the residential single-family (RS), residential general (RG) and shorefront residential (SFR) districts. A "special exception" to the ordinance, granted by the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA), would be required.
The current ordinance restricts the keeping of livestock, including poultry, to four districts — the commercial resort (CR), airport industrial (AI) and rural residential I and II (RRI, RRII) districts, effectively excluding chickens from the most densely populated parts of the city.
While extending the keeping of chickens to three other districts, the task force suggests striking the airport industrial district from the list where it is permitted and requiring a special exception in the commercial resort district.
The task force's proposal closely mirrors the ordinance adopted by the Concord City Council. It would permit keeping not more than five hens — but no roosters, capons or guinea hens — for the sole use of the household in the specified districts by special exception. The breeding of chickens and sale of eggs would be prohibited. Nor could chickens be slaughtered on the premisses.
Chickens would be kept in coops placed in rear or side yards at least 10 feet from the primary residence and 20 feet from any lot line. Chickens would not be allowed to roam free. Not more than three cubic feet of droppings, stored in a closed container, could be kept at one time. Chicken coops could not be located and chicken manure could not be stored within the 50 feet of the Shoreland Protection Overlay District, which includes all land within 250 feet of the high water mark of public waters, or within any wetland or wetland buffer.
Suzanne Perley, who chairs the task force, explained that requiring a special exception to keep chickens would effectively create a register. Applicants must pay a $125 fee and demonstrate to the ZBA that the use meets eight criteria, including that keeping chickens will not impair the interests or character of the neighborhood. Perley said that the process will ensure that the city has a record of those with chickens and their whereabouts.
Chickens first drew the attention of the Planning Department in October 2005 when Karianne Shelley, then an aspiring veterinarian at age 15, requested a variance to keep two hens at her home on Old North Main Street in order to complete a 4-H project. The ZBA denied the variance, but when Shelley appealed voted three-to-two to grant the variance until she graduated from high school in two years time. Five years later Charles Drake applied for a variance to keep between four and six laying hens at his home on Bay Street. The ZBA denied his request and refused to reconsider its decision.

Last Updated on Friday, 06 September 2013 03:28

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