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Portsmouth man wanted in Kensington home invasion is arrested, arraigned
BRENTWOOD — A Portsmouth man on the lam for nearly a year after being indicted for allegedly participating in a home invasion has been apprehended by authorities, prosecutors said.
William Smith, 31, was ordered held on $25,000 cash bail after a brief arraignment Monday morning in Rockingham County Superior Court.
Smith was charged in connection with the robbery and assault of a 19-year-old Kensington man at his home May 4, 2011. He faces single counts of conspiracy to commit burglary and accomplice to commit burglary.
Two other men, Steven Woodworth, 19, of Chester and Timothy Thorpe, 21, of Seabrook, are serving state prison sentences after pleading guilty to charges that they stormed into the home and attacked Nicholas Mertinooke.
Prosecutors believe that they carried out the attack at the behest of Smith, but the two men have refused to speak about Smith's alleged role.
Woodworth began serving a 1½- to 3-year sentence on April 9 after he pleaded guilty to felony robbery.
Thorpe, 21, of Seabrook was given the same prison term on March 22. He pleaded guilty to a single count of felony robbery.
Prosecutors say Smith allegedly drove a getaway car from the daytime break-in and had dated Mertinooke's sister. Smith allegedly sent threatening text messages to the victim days before the robbery and assault.
Woodworth took a lockbox from Mertinooke's bedroom, which held $150. The lockbox was later recovered from a dumpster in Haverhill, Mass. by local police.
It was unclear on Monday how or where Smith was apprehended. But in recent weeks, he was being sought by the U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force.
Marshals released a description of Smith asking for the public's help in determining his whereabouts.
WHAT'S NEXT: Smith will face charges of conspiracy to commit burglary and accomplice to burglary.
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