LACONIA — A Superior Court judge is considering whether to release a man who has been held in the Belknap County Jail for 90 days on a out-of-state warrant.
Judge James D. O’Neill III said he was taking under advisement whether to release Paul M. Arold, who was present with his attorney in Belknap Superior Court Thursday afternoon for a habeas corpus hearing.
Arold’s attorney, Peter MacKenna, argued his client should be released because the interstate agreement under which Arold is being held says fugitives can be detained for no more than 30 days and that Arold has been in the county jail for triple that amount of time.
Arold, 31, has been in the County Jail since June 22 when we was taken into custody on a fugitive warrant for violation of parole in Georgia.
“It’s clear that that provision of the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision has been violated,” MacKenna told the judge, “and the only remedy is release.”
But Belknap County Attorney Andrew Livernois said the reason Arold has been held for so long is because he was also facing a DWI charge here and that Georgia authorities would not take Arold back to that state until that case was settled because George considers DWI a violent crime.
MacKenna countered that DWI does not fit the definition of a violent crime under the interstate compact.
Livernois said that because a vehicle being driven by someone who is intoxicated could be considered a deadly weapon, that it was reasonable to consider DWI a violent crime.
Arold pleaded guilty to a Class B misdemeanor DWI charge in Franklin District Court in Aug. 19.
MacKenna further argued even if the 30-day clock did not start until Aug. 19, by that calculation Arold has been held for 31 days.
Livernois pressed the judge not to release Arold.
“Even if there has been a technical violation … I don’t agree that every technical violation rises to the level to requiring the release of a petitioner,” he said.
Livernois said Georgia authorities had told him that they are planning to pick up Arold next Tuesday and bring him back to Georgia.
But MacKenna said that once released, Arold would return to Georgia on his own.
O’Neill gave no indication when he would issue a ruling in the case.