Stratham lawyer to face felony charges for domestic violence case involving client
PORTSMOUTH — A Stratham lawyer who was once convicted of phoning in school bomb threats is now behind bars on witness tampering and other felony charges related to a domestic violence case involving a former client.
Ragnar R. Huffmann, 57, of 20 Crestview Drive, was ordered held on $5,000 cash or surety bond at his video arraignment Thursday on nine charges in the Portsmouth Circuit Court.
Huffmann was known as Ronald E. Hoffman before he legally changed his name to Huffmann after he was arrested in Maine on two counts of domestic violence terrorizing in 2014 and gave up his license to practice in Maine, according to an affidavit by Portsmouth police Detective Kristyn Bernier.
He was also previously convicted of calling in bomb threats to two elementary schools in Wilton, Maine, in 2012 and was given a suspended sentence. The Portland Press Herald reported that he had accepted responsibility for the bomb threats, which he maintained stemmed from his medical conditions that had not been properly treated at the time.
Huffmann practices law part time in New Hampshire and works as a salesman at Seacoast Harley Davidson, the affidavit said.
The latest legal troubles for Huffmann came Wednesday when he turned himself in to Portsmouth police on a warrant for charges resulting from an ongoing investigation.
He faces three felony counts of conspiracy to commit witness tampering, two felony counts of tampering with witnesses, and two felony counts and two misdemeanor counts of criminal liability for conduct of another.
The charges allege that Huffmann encouraged a woman to write a letter to Rochester police recanting her allegations of domestic violence against his client so that the charges would be dropped and “that they could all be together as a family,” Bernier’s affidavit said.
Huffmann also allegedly told her that if she got into trouble because of the letter he would provide legal representation and that his client would help pay.
Huffmann is also accused of conspiring with his client by telling the woman that if she showed up for a hearing on a domestic violence protection order last November “they would be filing for sole custody of her child, but that if she did not appear, they would not file paperwork seeking 100% custody of her child,” the complaint said.
The affidavit said the woman decided not to appear and the domestic violence petition was dismissed.
Charges allege as well that Huffmann advised his client to continue to have contact with the woman, which was a violation of a no-contact protection order, and to “lullaby her” to prevent her from becoming angry and reporting the client to police.
Huffmann pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charges. No pleas could be entered on the felony charges at the circuit court level.
A probable cause hearing is scheduled for Wednesday at 1 p.m. in the Portsmouth Circuit Court.