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Laconia arsonist charged with kidnapping

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — A convicted city arsonist who was released from the New Hampshire State Prison in April of 2015 after serving eight months has been charged with kidnapping and second-degree assault following an incident in Concord.

Jason Clairmont, 38, formerly of Gilmanton and Laconia, is charged with beating a man on June 24 in Clairmont's apartment on Ormand Street, breaking his arm, then forced the alleged victim into his truck and left him in Chichester.

Concord Lt. Tim O'Malley said Clairmont faces a single charge of second-degree assault, a single charge of kidnapping, two counts of simple assault, one count of felony criminal threatening and one count of obstruction of the reporting of a crime.

He said the alleged victim was found on the side of the road by Chichester Police and that it appeared the altercation between him and Clairmont was over money.

O'Malley said Clairmont was arrested on Oct. 7 by Laconia Police.

Two years ago, Clairmont pleaded guilty to setting three separate fires, including one in an occupied home on Highland Street, where a January fire was confined to some lattice work on the front of the building. On the same night, he started a car fire on Bowman Street that caused $18,356 in damage.

He also pleaded guilty to setting a car fire on Sept. 4, 2013, in front of the Funky Monkey, that caused $2,600 in damage.

Between those dates, there were other suspicious fires in Laconia, including two at Pitman's Freight Room and dumpster fires in the same neighborhood, though Clairmont was never connected to those fires.

Because of the structure of the sentencing, Belknap County Attorney Melissa Guldbrandsen said at the time that Clairmont faces a total of 7 to 15 additional years in prison should he not be of good behavior.

The Daily Sun could not reach Guldbrandsen on Friday but a colleague in her office said they would be looking into the matter.

After his appearance in the 6th Circuit Court Concord Division earlier this month, Clairmont was ordered held on $25,000 cash-only bail.

Department of Corrections spokesman Jeff Lyons said Clairmont is on parole and the department is aware of the new charges, but any additional information is private.