Man's Prison Sentence Sparks Anger In Community (NH)

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MOULTONBOROUGH, N.H. -- Moultonborough resident Ward Bird was sentenced Wednesday to three to six years in state prison after the state Supreme Court upheld a conviction for criminal threatening.
http://www.wmur.com/news/25839677/detail.html

Seems like a case of he said / she said, and I think the sentence was way too excessive.

If the lady stumbled on his property by mistake (didn't see the no trespassing signs), and the guy responded the way he did, then the guy is a class 1 douche...not worthy of a prison sentence (maybe a cock punching). But a douch nonetheless (edit: see below).

Of course, we don't know if the lady was a crazy and refused to leave when told "nicely"...[thinking]

Edit..just found this on the intertubes...

the transcript is only of the appeal. not the actual trial. and she was given directions not to my parents land to the land that she was trying to look at. She was told specifically that if she ...went past the white trailer she needed to stop and leave. she did not. she went past the trailer and other no trespassing signs. My father had 80 something staples in his stomach at the time and could barely stand for a few minutes never mind chase this woman with a gun. he had a gun on his side, in a holster with a permit. it did not leave the holster. however, if it had, he has every CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to do so. She refused to leave after multiple requests and my father said that he was going to call the cops on her. she was on probation and knew that if he called the cops on her that she would get in trouble. she called the cops on my father before he could get to the phone and told them that he chased her with a gun and threatened her. if you read the appeal transcript she changes her story multiple times. also another fun fact... in the court she was asked to point out the man who pointed the gun at her out of three men. my father, and two others. she could not do and said that she couldnt tell. she described the man who pointed the gun at her as tall, skinny, blonde and had a scraggly beard. my father is by no means a skinny man, and he is not blonde. and on top of that he cannot grow a beard to save his life.... so.... all in all. she lied.
According to his niece the lady was the crazy...starting to think that this guy was in the right...Plus he was on pain meds, and probably not all with it (so should have had some slack cut for him)
 
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627:7 Use of Force in Defense of Premises. – A person in possession or control of premises or a person who is licensed or privileged to be thereon is justified in using non-deadly force upon another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes it necessary to prevent or terminate the commission of a criminal trespass by such other in or upon such premises, but he may use deadly force under such circumstances only in defense of a person as prescribed in RSA 627:4 or when he reasonably believes it necessary to prevent an attempt by the trespasser to commit arson.
hmmm what if she had a lighter or matches on her... couldn't he have said he thought she was trying to commit arson?
 

dcmdon

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Most states' castle doctrine ends at the front door. i.e. you need to retreat rather than use deadly force on your property, but outside your dwelling.

The NH law is pretty clear. He could have used force to remove a trespasser, but not deadly force.

Section 627:7

627:7 Use of Force in Defense of Premises. – A person in possession or control of premises or a person who is licensed or privileged to be thereon is justified in using non-deadly force upon another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes it necessary to prevent or terminate the commission of a criminal trespass by such other in or upon such premises, but he may use deadly force under such circumstances only in defense of a person as prescribed in RSA 627:4 or when he reasonably believes it necessary to prevent an attempt by the trespasser to commit arson.
 
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627:7 Use of Force in Defense of Premises. – A person in possession or control of premises or a person who is licensed or privileged to be thereon is justified in using non-deadly force upon another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes it necessary to prevent or terminate the commission of a criminal trespass by such other in or upon such premises, but he may use deadly force under such circumstances only in defense of a person as prescribed in RSA 627:4 OR when he reasonably believes it necessary to prevent an attempt by the trespasser to commit arson.

I still believe as well that this thing stinks to whole highly hell too... Way more to the story than what we are getting.
 
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hmmm what if she had a lighter or matches on her... couldn't he have said he thought she was trying to commit arson?
Everyone should have a container of gas and a lighter with no finger prints on them.... [wink]

Most states' castle doctrine ends at the front door. i.e. you need to retreat rather than use deadly force on your property, but outside your dwelling.
In some states yes, but this is the state of Live Free of Die. Therefore you are wrong.

You have no duty to retreat while on your property as defined below.

627:4 Physical Force in Defense of a Person. –
I. A person is justified in using non-deadly force upon another person in order to defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be the imminent use of unlawful, non-deadly force by such other person, and he may use a degree of such force which he reasonably believes to be necessary for such purpose. However, such force is not justifiable if:
(a) With a purpose to cause physical harm to another person, he provoked the use of unlawful, non-deadly force by such other person; or
(b) He was the initial aggressor, unless after such aggression he withdraws from the encounter and effectively communicates to such other person his intent to do so, but the latter notwithstanding continues the use or threat of unlawful, non-deadly force; or
(c) The force involved was the product of a combat by agreement not authorized by law.
II. A person is justified in using deadly force upon another person when he reasonably believes that such other person:
(a) Is about to use unlawful, deadly force against the actor or a third person;
(b) Is likely to use any unlawful force against a person present while committing or attempting to commit a burglary;
(c) Is committing or about to commit kidnapping or a forcible sex offense; or
(d) Is likely to use any unlawful force in the commission of a felony against the actor within such actor's dwelling or its curtilage.

[Paragraph II-a effective January 1, 2011.]

II-a. A person who responds to a threat which would be considered by a reasonable person as likely to cause serious bodily injury or death to the person or to another by displaying a firearm or other means of self-defense with the intent to warn away the person making the threat shall not have committed a criminal act.
III. A person is not justified in using deadly force on another to defend himself or a third person from deadly force by the other if he knows that he and the third person can, with complete safety:
(a) Retreat from the encounter, except that he is not required to retreat if he is within his dwelling or its curtilage and was not the initial aggressor; or
(b) Surrender property to a person asserting a claim of right thereto; or
(c) Comply with a demand that he abstain from performing an act which he is not obliged to perform; nor is the use of deadly force justifiable when, with the purpose of causing death or serious bodily harm, the actor has provoked the use of force against himself in the same encounter.
(d) If he is a law enforcement officer or a private person assisting him at his direction and was acting pursuant to RSA 627:5, he need not retreat.
Curtilage is defined as the land immediately surrounding your house i.e. your lawn.

627:9 Definitions. – As used in this chapter:
I. "Curtilage'' means those outbuildings which are proximately, directly and intimately connected with a dwelling, together with all the land or grounds surrounding the dwelling such as are necessary, convenient, and habitually used for domestic purposes.
II. "Deadly force'' means any assault or confinement which the actor commits with the purpose of causing or which he knows to create a substantial risk of causing death or serious bodily injury. Purposely firing a firearm capable of causing serious bodily injury or death in the direction of another person or at a vehicle in which another is believed to be constitutes deadly force.
III. "Dwelling'' means any building, structure, vehicle, boat or other place adapted for overnight accommodation of persons, or sections of any place similarly adapted. It is immaterial whether a person is actually present.
IV. "Non-deadly force'' means any assault or confinement which does not constitute deadly force.
 

dcmdon

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Soloman - your argument :

In some states yes, but this is the state of Live Free of Die. Therefore you are wrong.


is meaningless.

However your discovery of reference to "curtilage" is significant. Then the next question is logically how far were they from his house when they met?

I'm not arguing right and wrong. I'm simply arguing that he may have in fact broken the law. Which means its time to change the law.

This thread has educated me to the CT statute (I of course went scurrying to look up CT's law). Which is a very good thing. I had always been a little foggy as to my right to use deadly force to evict a trespasser.

Don
 
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I don't think the real story is here either. I also think what he did was beyond what is reasonable and goes beyond what the law says. The length of his sentence bothers me, but overall his conviction doesn't.
 

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Its almost like a perfect storm.

You have an idiot who ignores a dozen no trespassing signs and still thinks its ok to go on the property to ask directions.

You have a privacy freak who according to one attorney in one article was "waving his gun around". I think thats the crux of the "common sense" argument.

Should a man wave a gun around at a woman for ignoring his no trespassing signs? NO. Thats just stupid. Any idiot could see she didn't represent any kind of threat. Does he have a right to do so? I believe yes under most circumstances.

Like others have said, I think he was a bit out of line. But the sentence is ridiculous.
 
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Soloman - your argument :

In some states yes, but this is the state of Live Free of Die. Therefore you are wrong.


is meaningless.
I was implying that NH is very different from all the liberal states below us with regard to the laws of this state. Much in the same way in Texas you are allowed to use deadly force when someone is stealing your lawn gnome.
 

strangenh

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The he said/she said nature of this case as reported should have resulted in reasonable doubt - i.e., no conviction. Defense was not allowed to impeach witness credibility with her record - which should have been error - and the jury was clearly nuts... or we're not getting the full story.
 
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this is the problem with Mandatory sentences, it takes away the common sense factor in judging a case. There is no ONE sentence that fits all situations and this is the perfect example. The Judge suggested 30 days and community service however 3 years is mandatory??? Common sense is almost as rare as Patriotism is these days... if this can happen in NH no one in MA should try to convince a trespasser to leave their property with a set of nail clippers for fear of prosecution.!
 

Super99Z

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I would expect the legislature to weigh in on this at some point during the next session. There might be a re-write to the law(s) related to the issues raised by this case.
Whoa, NH rewrites laws that are ridiculous? I think MA is going for some sort of record of how many stupid laws we can actually have on the books.
 

dcmdon

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A lot of freedom minded people got elected to the State Legislature in NH a couple of weeks ago.

StrangeNH. I don't know if its a he said/she said. I don't think the two of them disagree on the facts of the case. If he admitted to brandishing, thinking it was within the law, then he screwed himself.
Possibly another example of why you don't talk to the cops until you have legal representation.

If we assume you are correct about the hesaid/shesaid issue, you raise some very good points.
 

drgrant

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Yes, privacy freak. Thats what I'd call someone who lines his driveway with over a dozen no trespassing signs.
Maybe he just doesn't want people on his driveway? Why is he a "freak" for insisting that people stay off his property?

-Mike
 

dcmdon

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Maybe he just doesn't want people on his driveway? Why is he a "freak" for insisting that people stay off his property?

-Mike
12+ times all in the same line of sight!!

I'm in no way implying that he doesn't have a right to behave that way.

But lets be serious, he sounds a little freakish. (i.e. well outside societal norms of behavior)
Maybe its me, but I don't take myself or most other people seriously enough to get all worked up about most little things; and this was by most people's standards, a little thing.
This guy clearly is wound up pretty tight. Legal or not, its pretty wacko to brandish a firearm at a not terribly bright woman who comes wandering up looking for directions.
 
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drgrant

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I'm in no way implying that he doesn't have a right to behave that way.

But lets be serious, he sounds a little freakish. (i.e. well outside societal norms of behavior)
Maybe its me, but I don't take myself, life, or most other people seriously enough to get all worked up about most things.
This guy clearly is wound up pretty tight. Legal or not, its pretty wacko to brandish a firearm at a not terribly bright woman who comes wandering up looking for directions.
It's unclear as to whether or not he "brandished" it. I can almost hear the call now. Angry guy comes out with gun in holster. Yells at moonbat trespassing. Moonbat calls police saying "angry guy yelled at me and threatened me with a gun" turds roll downhill from there.

-Mike
 

drgrant

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I'm in no way implying that he doesn't have a right to behave that way.

But lets be serious, he sounds a little freakish. (i.e. well outside societal norms of behavior)
Maybe its me, but I don't take myself, life, or most other people seriously enough to get all worked up about most things.
This guy clearly is wound up pretty tight. Legal or not, its pretty wacko to brandish a firearm at a not terribly bright woman who comes wandering up looking for directions.
It's unclear as to whether or not he "brandished" it. I can almost hear the call now. Angry guy comes out with gun in holster. Yells at moonbat trespassing. Moonbat calls police saying "angry guy yelled at me and threatened me with a gun" turds roll downhill from there.

-Mike
 

dcmdon

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Totally reasonable assessment.

Another possibility is the cops ask him if he "brandished" and he says yes, believing it was legal.

these two examples illustrate that unless more details are known, we can't really judge right or wrong/legal or illegal.

But regardless of the exact circumstances, the term is excessive.

Don
 
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Whoa, NH rewrites laws that are ridiculous? I think MA is going for some sort of record of how many stupid laws we can actually have on the books.
Yup, a possible change to the law is in the works. Now everyone in NH needs to keep on our Reps to be sure it gets signed.

http://www.citizen.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101123/GJNEWS02/711239859/-1/CITNEWS

There may be a push for the Governor to pardon him. So far Lynch has not said that he wont, he's only said that the paperwork for a pardon has not yet been filed. Keep making calls to the Governor's office too.

http://www.wmur.com/news/25856072/detail.html


Yup NH is just like MA.[rolleyes] I'm so F-ing sick of hearing how NH is becoming just like MA. How about you pay attention to what goes on in NH prior to making that statement? If this happened in MA would this guy have a State Rep, introducing a bill to change the law? Would a MA State Rep call for the Governor to pardon this man? Just like MA?? Seriously? [thinking]
 
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