Judge closes hearing on enhanced security measures for Raymond child rape trial
Eschenbrenner’s trial on April 8 was delayed after he attempted suicide at the state prison. Eschenbrenner — who has been held in the state’s Secured Psychiatric Unit since the suicide attempt — did not attend Wednesday’s hearing. He participated in the hearing at Rockingham County Superior Court via speakerphone.
Judge N. William Delker decided to close the hearing after public defender Brett Newkirk cited media coverage published earlier in the week about Wednesday’s hearing.
In an order issued last Friday, Delker asked to meet with representatives from the sheriff’s department, the county jail and state prison about Eschenbrenner’s purported desire to harm himself, and possibly someone else in the process.
Newkirk argued to close the hearing. Delker spoke to Newkirk and Assistant County Attorney Jerome Blanchard for several minutes at the bench at the beginning of the hearing.
He concluded the hearing had to be closed to protect Eschenbrenner’s right to a fair trial and so that there could be a fuller discussion about possible security measures that may be taken during the trial.
Jury selection is expected to begin on Monday.