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NH judge refuses to suspend sentence for former Mass. cop

Union Leader Correspondent

June 06. 2014 7:59PM

BRENTWOOD — A judge refused to suspend the prison sentence for a former Massachusetts police officer convicted of perjury in the Kristin Ruggiero case.

Brendan Bisbee, 37, will have to spend another year behind bars before he can apply to be paroled from his two- to four-year prison term.

Bisbee was convicted by a jury in October 2011 on five counts of perjury for lying under oath before a grand jury in March 2009 and during the trial of Ruggiero, his then-girlfriend, a year later.

She faced charges that she had set up her ex-husband, Jeffrey, and had him jailed on false charges that she reported to East Kingston police while they were going through a bitter divorce.

“We expect police officers, past and present, to tell the truth under oath,” Judge Kenneth McHugh said in a two-page decision released this week. McHugh noted that Bisbee’s “lies also extended and complicated the prosecution of Kristin Ruggiero.”

Ruggiero was convicted in May 2010 of using a disposable cell phone, and having it registered under her ex-husband’s name, to convince police she received several threatening text messages.

She was found dead in her prison cell on Dec. 28, 2011, the same day the state Supreme Court upheld her conviction of falsifying physical evidence.

Bisbee was a 10-year veteran of the Barre, Mass., police department before getting romantically involved in 2007 with Ruggiero (a.k.a. Kristin McDonald). He later left his job while the two were dating.

McHugh cited comments from a chief probation officer who concluded Bisbee’s actions, “placed a black mark on the credibility of law enforcement viewed by the eyes of the public.”

Defense lawyer Adam Bernstein said that his client has been a model inmate and was recently designated to live in a halfway house as part of work release. Bisbee was not able to participate in work release because his parole plan is to Massachusetts and work for his wife, who has owned a hair salon for the last 20 years.

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