Transient arrested for criminal trespass

LACONIA - Police arrested a transient man after getting a report of burglary yesterday at 159 Union Ave.

Capt. Matt Canfield said Darryl Furnari, 44, allegedly went into the apartment and defecated on the floor. He said officers found a small burn mark on the floor as well but Furnari told them he accidentally dropped his cigarette.

Furnari is charged with one count of criminal trespass and one count of criminal mischief. He refused bail and is scheduled to appear in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division Friday morning for arraignment.

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Auction seeks new home as Opechee Conference Center closes

LACONIA — With the decision of the owner of the Lake Opechee Inn and Spa to close the Opechee Conference Center in June, the Greater Lakes Region Children's Auction will be seeking a new home.

In response to the decision, Mike Seymour, who chairs the board of the directors of the auction, and fellow board member Ed Darling issued a statement last week stressing that "we have been privileged and honored to call The Conference Center at the Lake Opechee Inn and Spa home for the past decade. The success of the auction is in no small part due to the stability of being in one place for this lengthy period."

They went on to say that "while we regret the need to find a new home, we understand the decisions that are being made at this time are ones that are in the best interest of the long-term health and vitality of this important landmark property. It is our hope," they continued, "that as this property develops and continues to change, there will an opportunity in the future to consider bringing the auction back to the Lake Opechee Inn and Spa. We know that we will continue to have their strong support and will benefit from our continued relationship with them as we have for the last decade."

Meanwhile, Seymour said Monday that the board will begin its search for a new venue in January. He explained that the auction requires a venue that meets three major criteria.

"We would like for it to be as centrally located in the Lakes Region and as easy to get to as possible," he said, adding that Laconia is probably the most suitable location. Size, he continued, is also important since the auction needs a large space for the studio, telephone banks and greeting area, along with room to store inventory and an area to prepare refreshments and take breaks.

Finally, Seymour noted, the venue must be capable of handling a significant amount of wiring, cables and conduit for Metrocast Cablevision, Lakes Region Public Access Television and the telephone bank. The wiring, he said, remained in place throughout the year at the Conference Center, where it was hidden in ceilings, which was a significant convenience.

"There are a lot of factors in play," Seymour said, "and we would like six to eight months lead time to work with our partners to develop and implement a plan."

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State Attorney rebuts motion to suppress evidence in Laconia methamphetamine

LACONIA — The state Attorney General's Office has claimed city police not only had the right but an obligation to search a local man's car last April after he was stopped for speeding in the Lakeport section of town.
The search lead to the discovery of what ultimately totaled nearly 12 ounces of methamphetamine and $12,000 in cash in the car and in the home of Peter Dauphin, 42, of 19 Appleton St. Dauphin's attorney, Mark Sisti, had filed paperwork with the Belknap County Superior Court asking the court to suppress the search and throw out the drug evidence against his client. The AG's office rebutted that in a motion filed this week.
While Sisti and attorney Jason Casey agree Dauphin had just purchased the car he was driving from another man, Sisti says it is not illegal to drive a car that is registered to a different person but Carey argues that because Dauphin had the bill of sale and admitted he hadn't gotten the car registered, the arresting officer has the right to remove the plates and force Dauphin to have the car towed.
Sisti said that because police allowed Dauphin to initially negotiate and pay the tow truck driver to have his car towed to his house, it was Dauphin's tow and the Laconia police illegally searched the car once it was on the flatbed.
Casey argued that it was the Laconia Police who called the tow truck company and that Dauphin would have had to pay for it regardless of where it was towed. He claims the officer had an obligation to search it because the city's tow policy states that "every vehicle that is taken into custody or towed under orders of a member of [the Laconia Police Department] shall have the contents of the vehicle towed."
Sisti said that, according to state law, a car can be ordered towed by police only under certain circumstances and that none of those were applicable that night. He said the car was not unattended nor was it going to be, it was not obstructing a road because it was already on the flatbed when the officer initiated the search, there was no complaint of obstruction, it was not stolen and it was registered, and Dauphin was not incapacitated.
While Casey said there is no direct New Hampshire case law that addresses Dauphin's choice of destinations for the car, he cited a Massachusetts law where a defendant under a nearly identical situation asked for the police to tow his car to his home, it was searched and cocaine was found. Casey said the Massachusetts Supreme Court rejected the same argument being made by Sisti and ruled that the operative police what not the destination of the tow but who order it – in both case, he said, the police.
Dauphin is charged with one count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute it. The case is being held in the Belknap County Superior Court and is being tried by Judge Peter Fauver. The state Attorney General's Officer is prosecuting.

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