Facebook post helps free man from jail
A Manchester man was freed from jail this week after his attorney learned that Laconia police were investigating another man who admitted on his Facebook page that he was responsible for the overdose death of a Laconia mother two years ago, the freed man's attorney said.
"I think Facebook aided in the steady downfall of the state's case," said Chichester attorney Mark Sisti, who represented the defendant.
Alfredo Gonzalez, 46, of 363 Central St., first floor, was freed from the Belknap County House of Corrections on Wednesday after spending two years and six days in prison, Sisti said. A jail employee confirmed Gonzalez's release.
Gonzalez could have spent more than 30 years in jail if convicted of the charges that were dropped, Sisti said.
Gonzalez was charged in connection with the 2011 overdose death of 22-year-old Ashley Denty, a mother of a 2-year-old son.
Sisti said the Belknap County Attorney's Office on Sept. 9, the day of jury selection, dropped a charge of sale of a narcotic drug (heroin) with death resulting.
Sisti said the county attorney's office by July had received a 64-page transcript of an interview by Laconia police "that included references to a Facebook page of a specific individual admitting to the killing of the alleged victim."
Sisti said he hadn't received a copy of the transcript until this month. Prosecutors are required in a timely manner to turn over evidence that might aid a defendant's defense.
On Wednesday, prosecutors attempted to amend a second charge, sale of a narcotic drug (heroin), to list a different date for the crime. Sisti said he objected and the judge agreed. Prosecutors then dropped the charge, leading to Gonzalez's release.
"The knockout punch was the attempt of the state to amend the indictment (on the heroin sale charge), which was denied," Sisti said.
Laconia Police Chief Christopher Adams referred inquiries to the county attorney's office.
County Attorney Melissa Countway Guldbrandsen wasn't available, her office said, and prosecutor Carley Ahern was in court.
A court employee confirmed the charges were dropped.
Sisti said his client "just wants to relax and gather his thoughts."