Brian Watson, left, and his attorney, Mark Sisti, appeared in court Wednesday. (Gail Ober/Laconia Daily Sun)
By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — A detective from the Tilton Police Department spent much of his day Tuesday testifying about evidence obtained from the bedroom of a 21-year-old man who died from a fentanyl overdose in April of 2015, including two syringes with liquid found within the victim's reach that were not tested by the state lab.
Brian Watson, 52, formerly of Northfield, is accused of selling a lethal combination of drugs to Seth Tilton-Fogg sometime before his death on April 2, 2015. His body was found in his bedroom by his mother in the early morning hours of that day.
Police officer Noell Glenn said she was one of the first people on the scene, and she found three needles that were "pre-loaded" with liquid. Detective Bryan Kidd-Keeler found a fourth. All totaled, police said there were about a dozen syringes that were found in the room, but some of the empty ones were destroyed.
Police collected and the state lab tested one plastic bag of brown material and one plastic bag that wasn't tested. The lab was given was given two needles with liquid in them but they were not tested.
Kidd-Keeler described the bedroom as messy and photos showed that Tilton- Fogg was found slumped on his bed with a cell phone at his feet and a "cook spoon" near his body. Many of the syringes filled with something were found within his reach, either on a television stand or in a draw on the stand or under his bed. All but six were discarded.
A coroner was called and an autopsy done later that day determined he died of acute fentanyl poisoning. Kidd-Keeler testified that he and the coroner saw old track marks on Tilton-Fogg's wrists but the state's chief medical officer found a fresh needle mark on one of his ankles.
Under cross examination from Watson's attorney, Kidd-Keeler said he didn't know what was in the two needles with liquid that weren't tested and were introduced as defense exhibits. When asked if there were any cotton balls or cotton-tipped sticks used to filter solid materials out of the heroin/fentanyl, Kidd-Keeler said there wasn't.
Kidd-Keeler also said there was no way to know when Tilton-Fogg ingested the fatal dose of heroin and that there was no way to know when it came into his possession.
He also testified that police took the cell phone into evidence and unlocked it by taking it to the funeral home and using Tilton-Fogg's thumb to unlock it.
Kidd-Keeler testified that they were able to determine that one of Tilton-Fogg's more recent text messages had either come from or had been sent to Watson.
A number of experts in the cyber-technology and cell phone field explained to the jury how they can track text messages with an appropriate search warrant for 72 hours.
Under cross examination, Sisti asked Kidd-Keeler about another known drug dealer who had also been in contact with Tilton-Fogg.
Kidd-Keeler said police dropped their investigation into that man because Tilton-Fogg's most recent contacts had been with Watson.
"He was ruled out as a suspect because of someone who had more recent contact with him," said Kidd-Keeler.
The trial continues this morning (Thursday) at 9:30 a.m. in the Belknap County Superior Court.