December 12. 2012 8:21PM

Sentencing set for man guilty of attempted kidnapping

Union Leader Correspondent

BRENTWOOD - A sentencing date has been set for a Portsmouth man convicted of trying to kidnap a woman as she was getting out of her SUV in front of a department store last December.

James Perry, 37, is expected to appear before a judge on Jan. 22 to be sentenced for attempted kidnapping and criminal restraint. He could face up to 11 to 22 years in state prison if a judge sentences him to consecutive prison terms.

Probation officials are now working on a report that will recommend how much time Perry could spend behind bars. Perry was convicted by a jury on Nov. 9 for trying to abduct the woman outside of an Ocean State Job Lots store. The incident happened last Dec. 14.

Jurors returned their verdict after about an hour of deliberation in Rockingham County Superior Court.

The attempted kidnapping charge carries a potential 7 to 15 year prison term, while the criminal restraint conviction could add another 3 to 7 years.

At trial, defense lawyers argued that despite a DNA match between Perry and a jacket found by Portsmouth police near the crime scene, it did not mean he was man wearing the jacket at the time of the attack.

Assistant County Attorney Patricia Conway said during closing arguments that not only did prosecutors have a DNA match, but Perry admitted to his estranged girlfriend that he carried out the attempted kidnapping.

Police were also able to match Perry to the jacket from a photo obtained from his ex-girlfriend's Facebook account.

The kidnapping attempt set off a major police response around the store parking lot and neighboring areas along Woodbury Avenue in Portsmouth. Perry was living nearby in the Gosling Meadows apartment complex with his girlfriend at the time, but he wasn't arrested until a month later.

Judge N. William Delker revoked Perry's bail at the request of prosecutors pending his sentencing. Perry is being held at the Rockingham County jail.

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James A. Kimble may be reached at