Man arrested for drugs failed recovery program

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

TILTON —  A former Laconia man who was arrested on a probation violation had approximately 200 grams of heroin/fentanyl and an unknown quantity of methamphetamine in his possession, police said Wednesday.

08-11 Jordan Manning

Jordan Manning, 25, of 601 Province Road was arrested by Tilton Police who were working with the U.S. Marshal’s Joint Fugitive Task Force was found by on Aug. 2.

He is being held at the Belknap County House of Corrections on $100,000 cash-only bail for the probation violation.

According to a motion to terminate his participation in Recovery Court filed by Belknap County Attorney Melissa Guldbrandsen in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division on Aug. 5, Manning pleaded guilty on March 8 to one count of possession of heroin and was allowed entry to the recovery program.

The recovery team voted to terminate him from Recovery Court after about 10 weeks because he disappeared, he continued his drug use and lied about it, and because he failed to make it past Step 1.

Manning, according to Guldbrandsen, had also been terminated from the Phoenix House Program in Dublin on May 23 and they reported his termination to the Belknap County Corrections Department.

An officer went to pick him up but learned he had fled while they were in route. Guldbrandsen said that at one point he called Horizon's Counseling Center and said he would take a taxi from Dublin, but never arrived.

Manning hid from police for two months until the task force, his probation/parole officer and the Tilton Police found him at the Rodeway Inn last week. The drugs were allegedly found in a toilet bowl in his hotel room.

Gulbrandsen said that during a subsequent interview, Manning allegedly told them “He had been purchasing substantial quantities (of drugs) in Massachusetts and distributing them in the Lakes Region.”

Tilton Police said that any additional charges against Manning regarding the drugs at the Rodeway Inn are being handled by  Guldbrandsen and the county attorney's office.

Fund established to aid M'boro family which lost home in fire

By ROGER AMSDEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN

MOULTONBOROUGH — A fund has been established to help a family whose home was destroyed in a two-alarm fire Tuesday afternoon.
Fire Chief David Bengston said the Robert and Maria Street Fund has been established at the Meredith Village Savings Bank branch office in Moultonborough. Donations will also be accepted at the Suissvale Community building at 71 Langdorf St. in the Suissvale community.
Bengston said that fire at 35 St. Moritz St. in the Suissvale community was reported at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday and completely destroyed the home, where the Streets live with their 17-year-old son.
Bengston said that the father was at home and sleeping upstairs when the fire broke out, and, after waking, made sure his son was out of the house and then tried to put out the fire with an extinguisher.
He then ran across the street to the home of a neighbor, Chuck Connors, and asked him to call for help.
Bengston said that the 1,200-square-foot, two-and-a-half story home, was a complete loss. Flames were shooting from the home when firefighters first arrived and a second alarm was called due to the hot weather which caused firefighters to become exhausted while trying to put out the fire.
Bengston said the fire was caused by accidental misuse of a hand-held lighter.

Burglar trial goes to jury

Victim unable to verify identity of night-time intruders

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — The defendant in a city burglary trial took the stand Tuesday in his own defense and told the jury he never went into the victim's house.

Michael Regan, 32, testified that he went to the home at 51 Emerald St. in Laconia on Aug. 23, 2015, around 1 a.m. with two other men, one of whom professed to him to be a nephew of the victim.

Regan is being tried for one count of burglary in the night time. The state, through Belknap County Prosecutor Adam Wood, alleges he entered an home occupied by a lone widow as she slept in an attempt to steal things from her house.

The victim woke to noise and said she saw two men in the office across the hall from her. She testified she told police one of them was dark-skinned but she didn't see any faces because one of them shined a flashlight in her face. She called the police and both men fled.

He said he was friends with one of them, Kevin Gobeil, and didn't know the second one, whose name he said was Marcus.

Regan said Marcus told him there would be air conditioning and television there, something Regan didn't have, so he agreed to go because he trusted Gobeil.

Gobeil pleaded guilty to burglary in the nighttime at the home and was sentenced to 2 to 4 years in prison.

Regan said Marcus is Dominican and black, which fits the description of one of the two men the victim said were in her house.

He told the jury that they were behind the house because Marcus had to get a key to his aunt's home. Regan said it was dark, so he was fishing through his backpack to get a cell phone for some light when he heard glass breaking.

He said he panicked and ran from the area, losing his shoe and falling into the woods, where he hit his head on a rock and lay unconscious in a muddy ravine. He said he only came to when police and a K-9 found him and helped him to the street.

On Monday, evidence was introduced that Regan had a cut on his head, but first responders from the Laconia Fire Department said the cut was superficial. Regan testified that he felt it was more serious than that.

On Tuesday morning, Sgt. Robert Cameron testified that the footprint found in the dirt under the victim's back deck near the window where the burglars got in matches the pattern on the sneaker found by police about 200 feet away. Regan was wearing an identical sneaker to the one that was found by police when he was located.

Cameron explained that the flash from the camera made the photograph of the sneaker print almost unreadable, but that based on his own observations of it with a flashlight, it was a match to the three zigzags on the bottom of Regan's shoe.

The jury also heard recordings made from the Belknap County House of Corrections in which Regan could be heard apologizing to his mother and saying "Do you think I wanted to do this?"

During a snippet of a second call with another person, Regan said he never went into the house – a statement dismissed by Wood as self-serving because he knew the line was tapped.

In his closing arguments, defense attorney Ted Barnes pointed out discrepancies in the five Laconia officers' testimony, including how one officer kept calling Regan by the name of Gobeil during his testimony.

Barnes said the police didn't do a complete investigation. After learning two men were in the house and after they found two men they stopped looking, despite being told by the victim that one of the men was dark-skinned or black.

Barnes said that Regan is a "red-headed Irishman" and that "They don't get any whiter" than him. Gobeil is also white.

In his closing, Wood told the jury to consider all of the pieces of the puzzle and how they add up to one reasonable conclusion and that is that Regan was inside the home with Gobeil.

He told the jury the two men were found within 17 feet of each other and within 200 feet of the house.  He said two police officers testified that they were only minutes away and the two men weren't going to make it far considering the response time.

He said Regan "fled so fast he lost his shoe."

Wood told the jury that the first time he had heard of "Marcus" was during Regan's testimony.

The jury began deliberations at 3 p.m. Tuesday and will continue deliberating Wednesday morning.

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