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Man released after serving 12 years for Portsmouth manslaughter death
Joseph Todd Gamester appeared in Rockingham County Superior Court in November 2009 to ask for his minimum sentence to be suspended. A judge rejected that request. JAMES A. KIMBLE/FILE PHOTO
BRENTWOOD – A former Newmarket man has been released from state prison after serving the minimum 12-year sentence for fatally stabbing a man in downtown Portsmouth in October 1999.
Joseph Todd Gamester, 43, was granted parole on June 7 – three years after a superior court judge decided that he was not worthy of an earlier release.
Gamester was sentenced to 12 to 25 years in state prison for manslaughter after his 2001 trial in Rockingham County Superior Court.
He stabbed Anthony Record, 34, of Rye, in the heart with an 8-inch fishing knife after the two scuffled outside the Old Bridge Cafe on State Street in Portsmouth.
Prosecutors brought two counts of second-degree murder against Gamester, but a jury ultimately found him guilty of reckless manslaughter.
Gamester returned to superior court in 2009 and argued for a sentence reduction after having served eight years behind bars.
Prosecutors and Record’s family objected to the request.
Judge Kenneth McHugh concluded in November 2009 that Gamester still had no remorse for fatally stabbing Record. He ordered Gamester to take a victim-impact course before he could be considered for parole in 2013.
“He describes himself as simply being an innocent bystander that unfortunately was near the victim when ‘he exploded’,” McHugh said in his 2009 decision.
Gamester got the fishing knife from his truck after tussling with Record outside the downtown bar.
A state police trooper stopped Gamester for speeding a short time later. He made up an excuse for having blood on his clothes and was let go, but eventually authorities caught up with him.
Gamester will remain under parole supervision until June 4, 2025, but the conditions of his release – including his current whereabouts — are not public record, according to Jeff Lyons, department of corrections spokesman.
Lyons said Gamester was not released to a halfway house and is living in an undisclosed community.
“He’s out completely,” Lyons said Thursday.
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