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Corporation that owns closed Portsmouth nightspot rejects plea offer

Union Leader Correspondent

July 10. 2013 6:05PM

BRENTWOOD — County prosecutors offered owners of the Page Restaurant a plea deal that would require them to pay a $75,000 fine and admit to illegally serving alcohol to settle a criminal case against the corporation.

The deal is apparently not an acceptable one for the corporation that owns the once-popular Portsmouth nightspot.

Matthew Stachowske, a lawyer for the corporation that owns the page, filed a petition in Rockingham County Superior Court on Monday, asking a judge to dismiss charges of illegally serving alcohol to patrons in a restricted area.

Prosecutors maintain the business illegally served alcohol to patrons on a basement-level dance floor on the night that 24-year-old Joshua Krantz sustained fatal blows to his head at the hands of another bar patron.

The alleged assault allegedly happened in the early morning hours of April 6 at about 12:43 a.m., police said.

The two indictments against New Adventure LLC, the corporation that owns The Page, were returned by a grand jury in May.

Stachowske argued that the county has no case because the city got rid of its "dance floor" ordinance months prior to criminal charges being filed.

"There is no law, let alone crime, against a licensee's service or consumption of alcohol on a 'dance floor' in the city of Portsmouth," Stachowske said in a court motion.

Prosecutors have yet to respond to Stachowske's argument.

A judge on Monday set an Oct. 28 trial date.

The defense also requested a view for the jury that would require them to travel to the now-shuttered business at 172 Hanover St. in Portsmouth prior to the beginning of the trial.

The corporation faces up to a $100,000 fine on each of the charges if found guilty by a jury.

Krantz was found dead in his apartment hours after he was struck by Zachary O'Neill, according to police.

O'Neill is currently jailed on a first-degree assault charge, awaiting possible indictment.

The state Medical Examiner's Office announced last week that Krantz died as a result of the injuries he suffered, and deemed his death a homicide.

The Page shut its doors permanently June 21 as part of an agreement with the city ahead of a hearing before the state's Liquor Commission.

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