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Defendant seeks trial in Franklin child prostitution case

By BEA LEWIS, For THE LACONIA DAILY SUN

CONCORD — A Franklin woman who pleaded guilty last year to human trafficking for selling a young girl into prostitution has decided to make her case to a jury on related charges involving another alleged victim.

Julie Shine, 43, was scheduled to appear in Merrimack County Superior Court on Monday for a status conference, but was never brought into the courtroom as the prosecutor and defense attorney met with the judge in chambers.

Upon emerging, Assistant Merrimack County Attorney David Rotman confirmed that a jury is scheduled to be picked on June 5. The trial, which is expected to last three to four days, has twice previously been postponed – once as the result of a medical condition that made the complaining witness unable to testify and the second after the state disclosed a new witness with whom the defendant's husband, William Shine, has allegedly made disclosures that could incriminate her. The defense was granted added time to interview the state's witness, and to decide whether to challenge the admissibility of that testimony at trial.

On Monday, Judge Robert McNamara agreed to continue the trial yet again after learning that the state has just produced 6,000 pages of new potential evidence in the case to be turned over to defense attorney Charles O'Leary. The state also dismissed a number of the charges including human trafficking, conspiracy to commit human trafficking, as well as misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child and violating the child protection act.

Last January, Mrs. Shine was sentenced to 11 to 30 years at the New Hampshire State Prison for Women after she admitted to accepting $1,000 from an informant working for police, to provide a 14-year-old girl for sex. Shine also confessed to theft by extortion for stealing a truck and money from a man by threatening to report him to police for impregnating another underage girl.

That man, Lawrence Marks, 36, of Tewksbury, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty last March to a federal charge of transportation of a minor in interstate commerce for illegally sexual activity, and was sentenced to 12 ½ years' imprisonment, and ordered to publicly register for life as a sex offender against children.

Shine's husband, William, 35, who is already serving a 14- to 60-year prison term, received an additional 3- to 30-year sentence, to be served consecutively, when he pleaded guilty earlier this month to sexually assaulting the girl a jury convicted him of pimping, and for his role in extorting Marks.

As part of their respective sentences, the couple were ordered to pay Marks $60,000 in restitution. Marks is serving his sentence at the Federal Correctional Institute in Danbury, Connecticut, and is now scheduled for release in August 2026.

During William Shine's trial, the prosecutor told the jury the couple were cash starved and stooped to selling the young teen into prostitution as a quick though reprehensible solution.

Public Defender Emma Sisti countered that the couple were considering an arranged courtship, which under state law, is not a crime. They viewed an underage marriage as a path out of abject poverty, and as a chance to give the girl a better life.

William Shine is now represented by attorney Caroline Brown. Under the terms of his Dec. 7 negotiated plea, Shine agreed to drop his New Hampshire Supreme Court appeal challenging rulings made by the trial judge, but will continue to argue his claims of ineffective assistance of counsel.

The Shines were arrested in October 2014, after they arranged to sell the girl to a police informant. During the trial, Anthony O'Hickey testified that he went to police after learning his father, Ronald Martin, formerly of Laconia, a convicted sex offender, planned to buy the girl himself and spoke of keeping her caged in his basement.

O'Hickey wore a wire, and, while State Police listened in, offered to pay the couple $5,000 for the girl and handed them $1,000 in cash, under the guise that he was going to drive her to a hotel and try to initiate sex.

The three girls the Shines are accused of victimizing have since thanked O'Hickey for his courage in going to police.

Earlier this month, after William Shine was sentenced, one of the victims said that without O'Hickey's intervention, "I would be dead."

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Laconia man sentenced in 2015 home invasion and burglary

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — A city man who burglarized the occupied home of an older woman on Emerald Drive in the summer of 2015 will spend a minimum of three years in the New Hampshire State Prison.

Michael Regan, 32, formerly of Arch Street was one of two people who burglarized the home at night, waking the owner and then fleeing when the realized she was awake.

Regan was found by police a short way from the home after he had apparently lost one shoe on the street and fell into a gully of the side of the street.

The other man, Kevin Gobeil was also found by police and ultimately pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to serve 2 to 4 years in prison.

Regan, however, has maintained his innocence. He admits to accompanying two other men to their home but said when one of them broke the glass to the basement, he got scared and ran away, losing his shoe and falling into a gully.

At the time of his trial in August 2016, the jury was divided for a while and struggled to reach a unanimous decision. Judge James O'Neill issued additional jury instructions encouraging each member of the jury to reconsider his or her position and, if possible, come to a decision. After two days, the jury found him guilty.

Since the verdict, his first attorney, Ted Barnes, and his current attorney, Mark Sisti, both filed motions to encourage O'Neill to set aside the verdict and order a retrial.

Both made the argument that there was no physical evidence, fingerprints or blood, that shows that Regan entered the home. Additionally, during her testimony, the victim said one of the men she found in the office across from her bedroom had black or dark legs. Gobiel admitted he was one of them but both he and Regan are white.

"The court does not find that said testimony excludes the reasonable conclusion that the that the defendant entered the victim's home that night," wrote O'Neill.

He reviewed the testimony given by the defendant who said that one of the men was wearing shorts and had dark legs. O'Neill went on to say that the defense attorney asked the question about the man being black and she answered that she didn't know if he was black or had a dark tan.

At Regan's sentencing on Thursday, Prosecutor Adam Wood told O'Neill that the victim's world has "been turned upside down" and that she no longer feels safe in her home. He said she didn't want to see Regan again and didn't attend the sentencing, saying her testimony and impact statements would be enough.

Wood asked for the 3-to-6-year sentence with one year of the maximum suspended and cited the emotional damage done to the victim.

Sisti argued that Regan had been held in jail while the motions to set aside the verdict were being litigated and that he just wanted to return home to the Boston area with his mother. He said he felt Regan should serve 12 months in the House of Corrections, be on probation for three years, attend mental health and drug rehabilitation classes, and then be allowed to return home to his mother.

Sisti said Regan suffered a brain injury and has been 100 percent disabled since 2007, which was when his slight criminal record from Massachusetts began.

He also said Gobeil got 2 to 4 years and the probation office recommended 2 to 4 years and he felt 3 to 6 years exceeded what was reasonable.

Wood said Gobeil received a 2-to-4-year sentence because he pleaded guilty and spared the court the cost of a trial.

He also noted the Gobiel grew up in Laconia while Regan didn't know the city and had no idea where he was that night because of his disability.

After the sentencing, Sisti said he would be appealing Regan's case to the state Supreme Court on the basis that he was convicted but absolutely no evidence was ever presented that he was in the house.

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A great start for mushers

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Brittany Colbath holds one of her lead dogs, Twiggy, after completing a 12-mile run from Profile Falls to Old Hill Village and back. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Sled dog drivers enjoy chance to work out dogs on Hill trails

By ROGER AMSDEN, for THE LACONIA DAILY SUN
HILL — Sled dog drivers are enjoying the opportunity created by recent snows to get their teams out to the Profile Falls-Old Hill Village trails for conditioning runs on real snow.
Up until recently, the only training option available for them were dry-land wheeled rigs or to have their teams run ahead of ATVs.
On Friday morning, Brittany Colbath and her mother, Danae Bryar, both from Bryar Patch Racing of Gilford, worked out at Hill for the second time in a week, with their dogs pulling a sled in front of a snowmobile.
"It's our second time out. We were here on Wednesday," said Bryar, who is the sister of two-time Laconia World Championship Sled Dog derby musher Keith Bryar II, who died last year at the age of 57 after a five-year battle with cancer,.
Danae, who races three dogs in the four-dog competition on the sled dog circuit, said her daughter is fortunate to have six dogs from Keith Bryar's old team, which were given to her by her uncle shortly before he moved into a hospice setting last year.
Colbath, who has been racing sled dogs ever since 2001, is very familiar with the Hill Village course, having won a New England Sled Dog Club open class race there in 2013, and will be competing with up to 16 dogs in the open class this year.
Now 24, she is a veterinarian student at Tufts University, and is looking to race in both the Laconia World Championship this year, as well as in at races in Ontario and Quebec and the oldest race in the country on Lake Chocorua in Tamworth.
She says that her lead dogs, Tip and Twiggy, are both 7 years old, and are a mix of German short-haired pointers and Alaskan huskies, a hybrid which has come to dominate sprint racing ever since Swedish musher Egil Ellis brought the so-called Eurohound with him to North America in the 1990s and they won all of the major races.
Colbath said she and her mother enjoying racing in Canada, where her uncle was a favorite racer, winning the Canadian championship in 2005, and forged close ties with Canadian fans and racers.
"It's a six-hour drive both ways, but it's always lots of fun," she said.
Also working out on Friday at Hill were Ed Clifford of Raymond and his daughter, Nova, who is 15.
"I spent a quarter century running races against Keith. He was a special guy," said Clifford, who is looking forward to this year's Laconia World Championship, which will honor Bryar's memory.

Bryar won his first Laconia championship in 2002 and again in 2011, and came from a family deeply involved in sled dog racing. His father, Keith Bryar Sr., drove to wins in 1960, '61 and '62, and his stepfather, Dick Moulton, won in 1968, 1971, 1973, 1975 and 1976.
Clifford said he has been racing sled dogs ever since 1968, when he raced in the one-dog class. He placed second in the Laconia race in 2008 and today his team features dogs which are a mix of a mix of German Short-Haired Pointers and Greyhounds.
His daughter. Nova, is doing well with her team and last year she won the six-dog class at the Kalaska Winterfest in Minnesota.
Both she and he father will be racing in Ontario this year, as well as the Laconia race.
Clifford said that his daughter would be making a 20-mile run on Friday and that he would bring his team back to Hill and then drive their down to the Franklin end of the trail where he would pick her up.

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Brittany Colbath puts a sled dog back into the truck after a 12-mile run in Hill. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)


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Ed Clifford of Raymond and his daughter.Nova, set put on the trail at Profile Falls for a run into Old Hill Village. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

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Nova Clifford of Raymond leads a sled dog into position to be hooked up to the sled for a workout on the trail in Hill. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

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Ed Clifford moves a sled dog into position to be hooked up to the sled for a workout on the trail in Hill. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

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