After parole snafu, prison is only option for addicted man

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — Worried more about his addiction than jail time, Stephen Moy told a judge he wishes he could have gone to rehab when he was younger, but that wasn’t an option at the time. He ended up in prison, where he saw and learned many things, most of them bad. Now jail is again his only option.

Moy, 29, whose last known address was Elm Street, told a Belknap County Superior Court judge during his sentencing on Friday that he would "do the time" and agreed to serve a minimum of 2 ½ years in state prison for having two handguns in his possession despite a snafu in his parole records.

Moy also pleaded guilty to possessing methamphetamine with the intent to sell it, possession of heroin, resisting arrest and being a felon in possession of brass knuckles.

"I'm here because of me," Moy told the court.

Moy took the opportunity to tell the judge a little bit about his life, admitting to him that he was a drug addict and that all of the misfortune in his life had been caused by drugs.

He said he began using drugs at an early age, despite the fact that he came from a good home and was a hard worker, and ended up going to prison in 2008 for 3 ½ years when he was a "young, dumb kid."

He said there are still drugs in prison but they are more expensive.

Toward the end of his prison stay, Moy said he got into a suboxone program and was doing really well. He told the judge that while he was in that program he was clean for five years, had a job with a 401K, was making $40,000 a year and was a hard-working taxpayer.

When he was arrested for the gun charge in April, he said he was no longer eligible for the suboxone program and "fell back into drugs" within a matter of months.

In April, Moy allowed his parole officer to look at his cell phone after admitting to him that he had used methamphetamine. On Moy's phone was a picture of a handgun, which was recovered by the parole officer working with deputies from the Belknap County Sheriff's Department. A second handgun, which had been reported stolen, was found a few days later in Moy's apartment.

The problem was that Moy was no longer on parole but because he and his parole officer thought he was, he had consented to a search of his phone by the parole officer.

The case had been resolved between Moy and state County Attorney Melissa Guldbrandson when the agreed to a single 3 ½ to 7 year sentence all of which was to be suspended, but when Moy was apprehended a few days later and found to be in possession of six grams of methamphetamine, two grams of heroin and some brass knuckles, Gulbrandsen rescinded the offer.

In court Friday, Moy agreed to serve 2 1/2 to 6 years in prison for possession one of the guns. A second charge of being a felon in possession of a stolen weapon was dismissed and the court ordered the gun to be returned to its owner in Barnstead.

Additionally, Moy was sentenced to serve 3 ½ to 7 years for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute it and 3 ½ to 7 years for being a felon in possession of brass knuckles. Both of those sentences are suspended but can be brought forward within seven years of his final release date from prison.

Moy was also sentenced to serve 12 months in the Belknap County House of Corrections for resisting arrest and 12 months for possession of heroin. Both of those sentences are to be served at the same time as each other and the 2 ½ years in prison.

Judge James O'Neill asked about a specific drug program that is offered in the Berlin prison facility, but both Guldbrandsen and Moy's two attorneys told him the prison system will do their own evaluation and place him where it wants to place him.

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Woman who led police on three-town chase now faces hearing for competency for trial

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — A judge has ordered a competency hearing for a woman who led police from three communities on a wild chase after she allegedly walked out on her tab at the Lakes Region Casino.

Sherry Giddis, 47, of Gilmanton allegedly lost her temper when her credit card failed on Sept. 18 and fled the casino in a red Ford pickup.

A Belmont police officer who passed her on Route 106 while responding to the reported theft, turned to follow her but backed off when she allegedly drove as fast as 90 mph through a construction area.

Laconia police saw the truck near Case 'N' Keg on Union Avenue but she again failed to stop, driving into Gilford where she allegedly drove around and caused damage to a playing field near Gilford High School as police there tried to stop her.

Laconia police tried to stop her again on the Weirs Boulevard and the officer lost sight of her, but thought she drove into McDonald's Restaurant on Union Avenue.

He spotted her truck at the drive-through window and she was taken into custody.

Giddis has been held in the Belknap County House of Corrections in lieu on $10,000 cash only bail. She faces three counts of resisting arrest, one count of aggravated driving while intoxicated, and multiple traffic violations.

College Bear visits Belmont Middle School

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

BELMONT — When a big brown bear tells a group of fifth-graders that they should start thinking about college, the fifth-graders pay attention.

And that's what happened Tuesday morning at the Belmont Middle School as the New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation kicked off its November campaign to reinforce the benefits of a college education.

"I Am College Bound" is one of the signature programs for the foundation that provides information to teachers, parents and students in childhood about how to plan for college during the early school years and how to identify resources to encourage post-high school education.

"Often by sixth grade, students have an idea if they are college material," said Tori Berube, the vice president of planning and community engagement for the foundation.

Berube said this is consistent with national trends and in some cases, she said she has seen children as young as second grade say they plan on going to college.

"This (outreach program) is a chance to plant the seed," Berube said.

College Bear was not the only visitor for the fifth-graders at Belmont Middle School on Tuesday. Four senior class members, all with plans to attend college, comprised a panel that fielded questions from the younger students and their teachers about the things they needed to do in their earlier grades to make sure they can go to college at graduation.

"Keep reading until you like to read," said senior Michael Iacopucci, who hopes to attend Brigham Young University and is the Belmont High School Band president.

His advice about reading was echoed by the three other seniors, who also told their younger counterparts to not procrastinate and to never limit their horizons. Their advice also included looking and identifying scholarships and sources of money as they progress through middle and high school so they'll be as ready as they can be when college time comes.

Berube said that New Hampshire has one of the best educated populations in the United States with 49 percent of its residents having a college degree or higher and an additional 29 percent having "high value credentials" like certificates of study.

Berube said the goal is to have 65 percent of the population with college degrees or credentials by 2025, and the key is starting children to think about college in early middle school.

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College Bear made a special appearance in front of the fifth-grade class at Belmont Middle School to encourage students to begin thinking about college in their early years. (Gail Ober/Laconia Daily Sun)

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