Danville chief facing firearms charge makes first court appearance
PLAISTOW — Danville Police Chief Wade Parsons made his first court appearance as a defendant Thursday morning at a pretrial hearing after prosecutors accused him of failing to properly secure a firearm used in a teenager’s suicide.
The hearing for the 54-year-old Parsons was brief as both sides asked for more time to review the case before moving forward.
Parsons, who was represented by defense attorney Alan Cronheim, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of negligent storage of firearms.
He is accused of leaving his Glock 22 .40-caliber handgun on top of a safe inside his home at 53 Caramel Drive on March 11.
Rockingham County Attorney James Reams has said Parsons’ girlfriend’s 15-year-old son, Jacob Carver, accessed the firearm and shot himself. Reams has labeled the shooting a suicide.
After this morning’s hearing in the 10th Circuit Court, Plaistow District Division, assistant county attorney Terri Harrington said new information has been presented that “does warrant some further investigation to make sure we have all the facts of the case.”
Judge Sharon DeVries also raised questions about whether it would be appropriate for her to hear the case as she had handled many criminal cases for the Danville Police Department while Parsons has been chief.
If she presides over the case, DeVries said she wants an agreement from both sides waiving any claim that she should recuse herself.
No agreement has been made yet, but a decision will likely come before the new pretrial hearing is held Sept. 16 at 11 a.m.
If DeVries recuses herself, Harrington said a judge from a court outside Rockingham County would likely be assigned to the case.
Parsons faces a fine of up to $1,000 if convicted of the violation.
The County Attorney’s Office filed the charge after an investigation by New Hampshire State Police and a review by the County Attorney’s Office.
Under state law, a firearm owner can be charged if a weapon is not properly secured and is accessed by someone under the age of 16.