By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — A city man who forced a married couple to accompany him through the city at gunpoint and then tried to get the male victim to rob a store pleaded guilty in Belknap County Superior Court Wednesday to two counts of kidnapping and one count of criminal threatening.
David Bickford, 22, formerly of Union Avenue, was sentenced to serve 2 to 4 years in the New Hampshire State Prison for kidnapping the man.
Bickford was also sentenced to 3 ½ to 7 years, all suspended, for criminally threatening the man, and to 3 ½ to 7 years, all suspended, for kidnapping the woman. Should Bickford not be of good behavior, the state can impose the full suspended sentences, which total to a minimum and maximum of 7 to 14 years more than the 2 to 4 years he agreed to serve.
When asked by Judge James O'Neill, Belknap County Deputy Attorney General Carley Ahern said that police never recovered the gun that was used by Bickford during the events of Aug. 25. She said the police had no statement as to the sentence and that the two victims didn't provide any input as to sentencing.
She said they searched the car in which Bickford was found but there was no gun. She said police looked all over the area and searched the Winnipesaukee River near the Laconia Spa convenience store but still never found it.
Ahern said the couple was at the library at 10:45 p.m. and were waiting for someone who was going to buy a bicycle from them. They were holding a charging cord that belonged to Bickford for safe keeping but when Bickford returned they said he demanded his backpack. They told police there never was a backpack.
She said Bickford pulled out a silver handgun and ordered the two to walk along the WOW Trail so that he could force the male victim to rob the Circle K.
At some point he released the woman, who went to her home and called the police. Bickford and the male victim went to the Laconia Spa and Bickford told him to go in and get some drinks for him and his friends. The male victim told the clerk to call the police.
Bickford was picked up by his friends but police stopped the car almost immediately after he got in and took him into custody.
In court Wednesday, Bickford's attorney said she thought the resolution is fair because it made it through the system in less than a month.
Bickford has previous convictions for robbery and theft and has already served two years in state prison for a probation violation.
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