Northwood man to plead guilty to threatening judge
BRENTWOOD — A Northwood man accused of threatening to kill a circuit court judge has agreed to plead guilty instead of go to trial on charges that could land him in state prison.
John Dembkoski, 63, will spend about six months in county jail as part of 12-month jail sentence after pleading guilty in Rockingham County Superior Court.
A superior court judge will have to approve a plea agreement recommended by state prosecutors.
Dembkoski was indicted last month on a single count of harm or threats to a certain government official, a Class A felony that is punishable by up to 7½ to 15 years in state prison. If a judge agrees to the plea deal, Dembkoski would also remain on probation for two years, and undergo a mental health evaluation and anger management treatment and counseling.
He is expected to change his plea on May 28.
The sheriff’s department began investigating alleged statements by Dembkoski shortly after he was arrested by Exeter police on Jan.17, according to court records.
Exeter police arrested Dembkoski about 6:30 p.m. and brought him to the Rockingham County jail, court records say.
About 10 minutes into the booking process, Dembkoski told Corrections Officer Jonathan Banville “that he was going to kill his wife when he leaves the jail,” Rockingham Sheriff Deputy Raymond Berube said in a sworn affidavit.
Dembkoski also “stated to the corrections officer that if the judge does not let him out on Tuesday, he was going to kill the judge as well.” He then told Banville that he “was compiling a hit list,” according to the affidavit.
Dembkoski was initially held on $25,000 cash on a charge of violating a protective order. But he now must post an additional $50,000 cash or surety as a result of his alleged threats, court records say.