Former Nashua alderman who faces conspiracy charges waives arraignment

NASHUA – The former alderman facing witness tampering charges waived her arraignment hearing Friday morning and is looking forward to fighting the charges in court, her lawyer said. Kathryn Vitale, 54, of 8 Massasoit Road, waived her first court appearance at Hillsborough County Superior Court in Nashua, but may be back in court for a bail hearing soon, according to defense attorney Joseph Fricano, of Chadwick, Fricano and Webber. “We’re going to do everything we can to defend her,” Fricano said. “We look forward to demonstrating that she’s innocent of these charges.” Vitale was arraigned by a grand jury in March on two felony counts of conspiracy to witness tampering, according to court documents. She is charged with bringing a man named Rene Lavoie to a woman’s home so he could encourage the woman to recant allegations against Ernesto Rivera, according to court documents.

Judge bars evidence about confession, medical examiner’s ruling in Hudson woman’s manslaughter case

NASHUA – The manslaughter case against Hudson resident Kristine Davis has taken a left turn after a judge ruled that testimony about a supposed confession and a state medical examiner’s ruling on the cause of death of Davis’ 8-month-old son won’t be allowed at trial. Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Jacalyn Colburn issued a flurry of rulings in response to motions from prosecutors and defense attorneys arguing about the admissibility of a wide range of evidence, statements and opinions. Most of Colburn’s rulings sided with Davis’ defense attorneys, including two important arguments regarding the testimony of the state’s chief medical examiner and a state prison inmate who says Davis confessed to him months after the baby’s death, according to court documents. Davis, 43, is charged with manslaughter in the July 2011 death of her son, Izik. Prosecutors accuse her of putting a medicated patch containing Fentanyl on the boy deliberately, believing he was born addicted to the potent painkiller.

Judge lowers bail for Merrimack man charged with heroin sales

NASHUA – A judge lowered the bail for a man charged with selling heroin and having more than 100 grams of the drug at his home and business in Merrimack. Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Kathleen McGuire lowered bail for Denard Debruhl, 34, of 908 Columbia Circle, Merrimack, from $200,000 cash to $20,000 cash or surety during a hearing on Thursday. She also ordered him to report to the Merrimack Police Department daily and submit to random drug screenings. Debruhl’s public defender, Suzanne Ketteridge, asked the judge to lower the bail to $5,000 cash. She said Debruhl’s two children and long-term partner are without a stable home because Debruhl owes his landlord nearly $2,000 in rent and the property has been locked up.

NH officer gets year for leaving accident scene

MANCHESTER (AP) – A New Hampshire police officer has been sentenced to one year in jail for leaving the scene after he struck two teens with his unmarked police car. Former Manchester sergeant Stephen Coco Coco had been charged with conduct after an accident. Prosecutors said he was off-duty on March 22, 2013, when he struck 18-year-old Dean Drukker and 17-year-old Noah Hickman from behind. Coco told investigators he hadn’t left home that night, but police said his SUV had fresh front-end damage. Drukker suffered bleeding on the brain and a separated shoulder.

Grand jury indicts man accused of beating 10-week-old Nashua boy

NASHUA – A Massachusetts man charged late last year with assaulting a 2-month-old baby in Nashua is facing a maximum of 60 years in prison after being charged with two counts of assault this month. Enrique Santiago, 21, of 259 Andover St., Apt. 1, in Lawrence, Mass., was one of dozens of people indicted by a Hillsborough County Superior Court grand jury this month. He is facing two counts of first-degree assault that allege he squeezed a baby boy and hit him with a tablet computer, according to court records. Santiago was held on $1 million bail after his arrest and claimed he was trying to “startle” the crying child when he hit him with a pillow case holding the tablet computer on Dec.

Nashua bingo hall robber sentenced to prison, drug treatment

NASHUA – A Nashua man will spend time in prison and then drug treatment after admitting to trying to robbing a church fundraising bingo game last fall. It’s unclear what will happen to his son, who is charged with helping commit the robbery. Charles Preston, 46, formerly of 42 Worcester St., Apt. 2, Nashua, pleaded guilty Thursday to a charge of armed robbery in Hillsborough County Superior Court and was sentenced six to 12 years in prison. But Preston will be released from prison as early as December so he can enter a New York drug treatment program, according to the terms of his sentence.

Judge sends Nashua man to treatment – but prison comes first

NASHUA – Michael Curran was looking for a chance – a chance to avoid prison, to kick a drug habit that’s helped generate a long criminal history at age 25 and to get his life back on track for the sake of his young son. A judge agreed to give him that chance Thursday, but not before he spends some time in state prison. Curran, of Nashua, was sentenced to three to six years in prison after pleading guilty to robbing the A&P Market at gunpoint June 16. It was the latest in a long line of crimes driven by his heroin addiction, Curran’s lawyer said. “It took over his life,” defense attorney Philip Kalil said.

Two men charged in connection with a crash that seriously injured a Nashua resident are now facing assault charges

NASHUA – Two men charged in connection with a crash that seriously injured a Nashua resident last summer are now facing assault charges in connection with the wreck, according to court records released this week. Benjamin Tucker, 23, is charged with second-degree assault, and Michael Fawcett, 48, is charged with criminal liability to conduct after an accident for allegedly hitting Theodore Takacs on a motorcycle while passing him on the Everett Turnpike Exit 5 on-ramp, according to indictments handed down by the Hillsborough County Superior Court grand jury Tuesday. Tucker was already facing a charge of reckless conduct and Fawcett is charged with falsifying evidence following the Aug. 22 crash. Takacs, 79, survived the crash that threw him from his motorcycle and caused serious injuries.

Conflicting testimony muddies case against Hudson woman charged baby’s 2011 death

NASHUA – Months after her 8-month-old son died of an overdose, Kristine Davis admitted to putting pain medication patches on the boy, a prosecution witness told a judge Monday, although two defense witnesses contradicted the testimony. Arthur Doiron, 36, of Hudson, testified at a hearing in Hillsborough County Superior Court that he was one of four people who attended a party at Davis’ home in October 2011. He said Davis told him and others at the party that she would put pieces of Fentanyl patches on her son, Izik, when he cried a lot. “It was just her and I talking about this alone,” Doiron said. But two witnesses called by Davis’ defense attorneys testified that Davis said no such thing and that there was no point during the gathering that she and Doiron were alone together long enough to have such a conversation.

Competency of Nashua man accused of killing sister will be argued in court in March

NASHUA – An accused murderer will be in court next month, where lawyers will argue whether he is competent to face charges that he bludgeoned his sister to death last year. Lawyers updated Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Diane Nicolosi on the status of the case Thursday. Assistant Attorney General Peter Hinckley said Duane Rolfe’s competency is still in question and that a competency hearing will be held March 21. Rolfe, 65, is charged with the first-degree murder of his sister, Judith Rolfe, 66, in the 8 Belmont St. home the siblings shared.