August 17. 2018 9:59AM

Man convicted in drug death gets more prison time for possession

By BEA LEWIS
Union Leader Correspondent


LACONIA — A Northfield man serving a prison sentence of 12 to 24 years for selling a fatal dose of fentanyl has recently pleaded guilty to possessing the drug.

Brian Watson, 54, was convicted of selling a controlled drug, death resulting, on Jan. 18, 2017, following a jury trial, and was initially sentenced to 15 years to life imprisonment. His prison term was reduced after he filed for sentence review. Last month he accepted the terms of a plea deal on two remaining charges.

In exchange for the prosecutor dismissing a possession of fentanyl in a school zone charge, Watson pleaded guilty to the alternate and lesser count of possession and received a 1- to 2-year prison sentence to be served consecutively to the one he is now serving at the Northern New Hampshire Correctional Facility in Berlin.

Belknap County Attorney Andrew Livernois initially argued for a 3- to 6-year concurrent sentence but Judge James D. O’Neill III found that the terms of the negotiated disposition were not appropriate and rejected the proposed plea deal.

Watson was arrested by Tilton police on May 8, 2015, after returning from buying drugs in Manchester and authorities found 12 grams of fentanyl in his possession when they stopped his Jeep within 1,000 feet of Tilton School, a private preparatory school.

He was convicted of selling $240 worth of the potent opiate that killed Seth Tilton-Fogg, 21, on April 2, 2015. Following the motor vehicle stop, Watson agreed to speak to police.

In mid-interview with Det. Nate Buffington, Watson was shown a photo of the victim’s body and told that the drugs that he had sold Tilton-Fogg had killed him, prompting Watson to make incriminating statements.

While Watson said he never wanted anyone to die, he told police that he had warned Tilton-Fogg about the potency of the drug and not to use too much.

“Do you think if he had followed your instructions he would have been okay?,” Buffington asked Watson during the interview.

“Absolutely,” replied Watson.

The victim’s mother discovered her son’s body in his bedroom.

Defense Attorney Mark Sisti appealed the original conviction to the state Supreme Court, which upheld it.

Initially freed following his arrest, Watson’s $25,000 cash bail was revoked after he violated the terms of his release by being found in the company of his former girlfriend, Teanna Bryson.

Bryson allegedly sent a text to Watson on April 6, 2015, that said, “We killed one of our customers ... I’m devastated ... in shock ... I am freaking out.” She was granted immunity to testify.