Articles Posted in New Hampshire Supreme Court

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Darlene Washburn was convicted by jury of possession of a schedule II controlled drug. On appeal, she argued the Trial Court erred when it: (1) denied her motion to suppress evidence seized in warrantless searches of her purse, vehicle, and home; and (2) instructed the jury on a lesser-included offense that did not ensure jury unanimity and failed to protect her against double jeopardy. Finding no reversible error, the New Hampshire Supreme Court affirmed. View "New Hampshire v. Washburn" on Justia Law

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Defendant James Bazinet was convicted by a jury of negligent homicide for driving a motor vehicle while he was intoxicated and causing a fatal collision. He appealed the rulings of the Superior Court denying his motions to suppress the results of testing done by the State on a blood draw sample taken by the hospital after he arrived there unconscious. The court ruled that the defendant did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the hospital blood draw sample, and that the State acted lawfully in obtaining and testing it for blood alcohol content without a warrant. Citing a case discussing the emergency exception to consent in the civil context, the court found that the defendant implicitly consented to medical treatment. The court further concluded that “no ‘search’ occurred within the meaning of [the federal and New Hampshire] constitutions when the police later tested the defendant’s blood for DNA.” The New Hampshire Supreme Court concurred with the Superior Court’s judgment, noting in particular to the admission of the DNA evidence that given the other evidence presented by the State to establish that the defendant was the driver, the DNA evidence was cumulative. View "New Hampshire v. Bazinet" on Justia Law

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Defendant Dominick Stanin, Sr. appealed after a jury convicted him for first degree assault, robbery, and being a felon in possession of a deadly weapon. On appeal he argued the evidence was insufficient to convict him of robbery, and that the trial court erred when it did not individually question each juror about the impact that a photograph (which had not been admitted into evidence, but which was visible in the defense counsel’s file) had on that juror’s ability to render an impartial verdict. Finding no reversible error, the New Hampshire Supreme Court affirmed. View "New Hampshire v. Stanin" on Justia Law

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Defendant Meghan Sage appealed her conviction for driving under the influence (DUI), second offense. On appeal, she argued that the trial court erred by: (1) denying her motion to suppress evidence derived from expansion of the underlying traffic stop; (2) declining to exclude breathalyzer test results, or alternatively dismiss her charge, for an alleged violation of her due process rights under Part I, Article 19 of the New Hampshire Constitution; and (3) enhancing her sentence under RSA 265-A:18, IV based upon a 2008 conviction from Maine for operating under the influence (OUI). Finding no reversible error, the New Hampshire Supreme Court affirmed. View "New Hampshire v. Sage" on Justia Law

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Defendant Felix Ruiz was convicted by jury of misdemeanor receipt of stolen property; namely, a United States passport belonging to someone else. Defendant was suspected of helping others forge identity papers for others. The defendant told a New Hampshire State Trooper that he was paid to perform “backgrounds” on individuals and that the information he obtained was then given to someone else who would generate the false identity documents. During an interview with policy, defendant was “extremely cooperative” with and “polite” to the troopers. As a result, officers offered to release him provided that he produce the minimum amount of cash bail for a misdemeanor charge. The defendant had no cash available, but claimed that his girlfriend could bring it. The troopers allowed him to text his girlfriend, who agreed to come to the DMV with the money. However, the girlfriend never arrived and, after a few hours of waiting, the police decided to transport the defendant to jail and allow his girlfriend to meet him there. Police asked defendant if he would consent to a search of his vehicle. Defendant readily agreed, signing a handwritten consent form that the officer drafted. Police conducted a full search of the vehicle, during which he found a black bag containing, among other items, the passport at issue in this case. On appeal of his eventual conviction, defendant argued the Superior Court erred when it: (1) denied his motion to suppress certain evidence, including his post-Miranda confession; and (2) denied his motion to dismiss based upon insufficiency of the evidence. Finding no reversible error, the New Hampshire Supreme Court affirmed. View "New Hampshire v. Ruiz" on Justia Law

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Defendant Gedeon Karasi appealed his conviction after a jury found him guilty of attempted murder, first degree assault, armed robbery, and resisting arrest or detention. On appeal, he argued the trial court erred when it denied his motion to dismiss the attempted murder charge because the evidence was insufficient to prove a purpose to kill, and that it committed plain error by allocating all of the defendant’s presentence confinement credit to his misdemeanor sentence. The State agreed the trial court erred when it sentenced the defendant and that defendant should have been resentenced. The New Hampshire Supreme Court affirmed defendant’s attempted murder conviction, vacated the sentences imposed, and remanded for resentencing. View "New Hampshire v. Karasi" on Justia Law

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Defendant Theo Bosa appealed an order granting him 123 days of presentence confinement credit. On appeal, defendant argued that the superior court erred in awarding him only 123 days of presentence confinement credit, instead of the full 243 days he requested. Finding no error in calculation of his sentence, the New Hampshire Supreme Court affirmed. View "New Hampshire v. Bosa" on Justia Law

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Defendant Carlos Gonzalez, III appealed his convictions on two counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault, arguing the trial court erred when it vacated the pro hac vice admission of two out-of-state attorneys, thereby depriving him of his right to chosen counsel under Part I, Article 15 of the New Hampshire Constitution and the Sixth Amendment to the Federal Constitution. Because the New Hampshire Supreme Court conclude the trial court sustainably exercised its discretion when it found that its interest in the fair, efficient, and orderly administration of justice outweighed the defendant’s right to counsel of his choice, it affirmed. View "New Hampshire v. Gonzalez" on Justia Law

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Defendants Anthony Barnaby and David Caplin were charged with two counts each of first degree and second degree murder in the deaths of two women that occurred in 1988. The State appealed a superior court order that denied in part, its motion to depose certain foreign witnesses pursuant to RSA 517:13 (2007). In 2010, the State reopened its investigation into the murders. As a result of that investigation, a grand jury indicted the defendants on the present charges in 2015. In April 2016, the State moved, pursuant to RSA 517:13, to take video depositions of eleven Canadian residents for potential use at the defendants’ trials. The State maintained that the prospective deponents were material witnesses who could not be compelled to testify at trial and, therefore, video depositions are necessary “to preserve their testimony and ensure a fair trial.” The defendants objected. The court found the State had met its burden of proving that the depositions of one witness in Caplin’s case and one witness in Barnaby’s case were necessary, but that it had failed to demonstrate a necessity for the other depositions. On appeal, the State argued the trial court applied the wrong standard in determining whether the State had met its burden to take the depositions under RSA 517:13, II(a). The New Hampshire Supreme Court concluded that whether a witness resides in a foreign country and is not subject to the jurisdiction of the New Hampshire courts is a factor that can be considered when determining whether a deposition is necessary to preserve the testimony of a witness who is unlikely to be available for trial due to one of the enumerated conditions in RSA 517:13, II(a). Because the trial court did not have the benefit of the Supreme Court’s interpretation of RSA 517:13, II(a) and it was not clear what weight, if any, that the trial court placed upon the fact that these witnesses were not subject to the jurisdiction of the New Hampshire courts, the Supreme Court vacated the trial court’s decision and remanded for consideration of whether the State met its burden pursuant to RSA 517:13, II(a). View "New Hampshire v. Barnaby" on Justia Law

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The State appealed a superior court order granting news reporter Nicholas Reid’s (Reid) motion to quash the State’s subpoena compelling him to testify against defendant Carl Gibson. Republican candidate Yvonne Dean-Bailey (Dean-Bailey) was running in a May 19, 2015 special election for State Representative from Rockingham County District 32. On May 14, 2015, the defendant, a volunteer for the opposing Democratic Party candidate, allegedly issued a false press release stating that Dean-Bailey was dropping out of the race. Reid, who was covering the special election as a reporter for the Concord Monitor, received the e-mail with the attached press release and became suspicious because of the form and content of the e-mail and attached file. He contacted a representative of the New Hampshire Republican Party who was unaware of Dean-Bailey withdrawing from the race. Reid then wrote a short article for the May 15, 2015 issue of the newspaper titled “Email claiming Dean-Bailey is conceding called a hoax.” Reid reviewed the metadata of the press release which lead to him finding a way to contact Gibson. Based upon that conversation and his conversations with other sources, Reid wrote a second article published in the Concord Monitor on May 16 under the headline, “Man who sent hoax email from GOP candidate had ‘too many beers’ before ‘prank.’” Defendant was ultimately charged with “False Documents, Names or Endorsements,” attempted voter suppression, and voter suppression. Reid was served with a subpoena requiring him “to testify what [he] know[s] relating to a criminal matter to be heard and tried between the State . . . and Carl Gibson.” Reid moved to quash the subpoena on the ground that it violated his “newsgathering privilege” under Part I, Article 22 of the New Hampshire Constitution and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. On appeal, the State argued that the trial court erred “by expanding the scope of the news-gathering privilege to include non-confidential sources.” Although Reid based his motion to quash upon the ground that it violated his newsgathering privilege under the State and Federal Constitutions, the trial court based its decision solely upon the State Constitution. The New Hampshire Supreme Court held the trial court’s determination was erroneous, and remanded for the trial court to consider, in the first instance, Reid’s federal constitutional claim. View "New Hampshire v. Gibson" on Justia Law