Apr 19, 2014
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Ex-fire inspector testifies he knew Colebrook gunpowder plant owner
“The fire department told me there had been an explosion. I called the Fire Marshal’s office in Concord, and they told me to go ahead and respond.
McCormick had Chalk step to an easel at the center of the courtroom and draw a diagram of the building, putting two circles at the approximate locations of the bodies of Kendall and Kennett.
“Yes,” he replied.
“Did you attempt to revive them?” Chalk said he had not.
“They were deceased at that time?” the prosecutor asked.
“Yes, they were,” Chalk said.
Chalk testified that the day of the explosion was not the first time he had been to the plant. He said he had done a preliminary inspection there in 2009 at the request of Sanborn, whom he had known earlier and for whom he tested and reviewed firearms products in Chalk’s role as an outdoor writer for several publications.
“I was looking for egress — ways to get out of the building — lighting, a sprinkler system, a fire alarm system. At that time, he needed a basic fire inspection to continue,” Chalk said.
Chalk said, although he’d had a number of dealings with Sanborn including traveling to weapons industry trade shows with him and helping Sanborn look for commercial property in Maine, he hadn’t been aware of the building’s use as a gunpowder plant until the day of the explosion.
“Yes, sir,” Chalk replied.
“Are you telling the truth right now?” Sisti continued.
“He did not tell me it would be used for the production of powder,” Chalk said.
Negligent homicide is a Class B felony, and a conviction on each count is punishable by 3½ to 7 years in prison.
“We’re going for convictions; I won’t go into any more on that,” he said.
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