Jury selection for man charged in 2014 home invasion postponed

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — Jury selection for accused armed robber and burglar Tyler Twombly, 31, of 76 County Drive has been continued from this Monday until May 16.

Twombly is accused of being one of two masked men who entered a home on Harvard Street in 2014 and shooting or hitting one of four other men who were there while he robbed him.

He was identified as one of the men, said court documents, after his DNA was found on a red bandana that was located by a police K-9 shortly after the indicted was reported.

The case has been slowed by the number of witnesses identified by the state who have said they need immunity in order to be able to testify. To date, there are five possible witnesses who have asked for immunity including the three men who were in the home at the time of the robbery. One of the three was injured by either a gunshot or some kind of blow to his head and the homeowner's son has already been granted immunity.

Hearings for the other two men are scheduled for Monday at 1:30 p.m.

Assistant Belknap County Attorney Carley Ahern recently identified two women who could also be witnesses against Twombly but may have Fifth Amendment issues regarding their testimony.

Additionally, Twombly's attorney, Mark Sisti, has identified one witness whom he would like indemnified but who has recently been charged as being an accomplice to the robbery and burglary.

He has filed a motion to compel the state to grant immunity to Joshua Pike, 29, of or formerly of 103 Blueberry Lane so he can testify on behalf of Twombly.

Pike has told police on two separate occasions that he was in the home and was the one who answered the door, allowing Twombly and a second, as yet unidentified man, to enter. He has told police that the man holding the gun had initially pointed it at him and that he is also a victim.

City police believe Pike is a co-conspirator of Twombly's and have charged him with one count of conspiracy to commit burglary, one count of conspiracy to committee robbery and one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree assault. He has not been indicted by a grand jury for these allegations.

Ahern has objected to giving Pike immunity, saying criminal defendants do not have a right to immunity if they are defense witnesses while Sisti has argued that in this case the evidence Pike would provide is exculpatory and presents a highly material variance from the state's case.

She noted that Pike believes that Twombly has "put out a $10,000 'hit'" on him and she doesn't feel he should be compelled to testify. Pike is not a prosecution witness.

Ahern said Sisti has failed to offer any new information that varies widely from the state's case and he doesn't need immunity.

Police recover items stolen from Sanbornton home, two arrested

SANBORNTON — Police arrested two people after finding them in possession of what were allegedly items stolen from a home on April 1.

Jamie Judkins, 42, was charged with burglary, a Class A felony, and Tristdonna Copp, 36, was charged with conspiracy to commit burglary, a Class A felony. Both live at 125 Renihan Meadows, Lebanon.

Police were called to 307 Calif Hill Road to take a report of items stolen, including a television and BluRay player. An officer had checked on the property the previous night due to an alarm activation. After checking with Franklin police, it was discovered that one of their officers had stopped a vehicle after midnight that night that appeared to contain the missing items. After comparisons with evidence found at the scene, warrants were issued for the two.

Most of the stolen items were recovered. Judkins was released on $25,000 personal recognizance bail, with a date set for May 9 at Franklin District Court. Copp was releeased on $5,000 personal recognizance bail, also with a date set for May 9 at Franklin District Court. 

Delegation OKs contract for corrections officers

LACONIA — After twice failing to muster a quorum, the Belknap County Delegation, with 12 of its 17 members present, on Friday unanimously approved the collective bargaining agreement negotiated between the Belknap County Commissioners and the State Employees Association on behalf of the Belknap County Corrections Officers Union, which unanimously endorsed the contract last month.

The two-year agreement includes a cost-of-living adjustment of 1.4 percent in each year, the first wage increase for the officers in four years, as well as step increases, which could raise total compensation by 4.4 percent each for eligible employees.

With the agreement the health insurance provided to employees will change from an HMO plan to a site-of-service plan, which is projected to reduce the cost of the benefit by $3,000 per employee, sparing the county some $64,000 in health insurance costs during the next two years.

Employees currently contribute between 5 percent and 6.5 percent of the cost of premiums for the HMO plan. The site-of service plan includes deductibles of $1,000, $2,000 and $3,000 on the single person, two-person and family plans. Although the county will pay the entire premium for the "site of service" plan, its share of the cost of insuring the 21 employees is projected to decrease from $440,393 to $386,166 in the first year and from $453,849 to $375,521 in the second year.

The agreement resembles the contract reached with the Teamsters Local 633 representing 23 managerial and administrative employees, which the delegation approved last August.