10-time DWI offender paroled
CONCORD - A Laconia man serving prison time after his 10th driving while intoxicated conviction was granted parole on Thursday and will be released from a halfway house by the end of July.
Kerry Lee Persons, 60, was paroled on a 2-1 vote and will be released into an intensive parole program, according to Jeffrey Lyons, spokesman for the state Department of Corrections.
State Adult Parole Board Chairman Pierre Morin and board member Mark Furlone voted in favor of Persons' release, while board member Kathryn McCarroll abstained, making hers a 'no' vote, Lyons said.
Persons has spent about 10 years in jail because of his repeated drunk-driving convictions, he said in an extensive interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader in March.
He is living in the Calumet Halfway House in Manchester and said in March that he has quit drinking and has the support of friends, family and a church.
Persons' latest conviction was after a drunken joyride in a stolen Jeep that ended when he crashed into a backyard tree in a residential section of Newmarket on Sept. 8, 2009. He said in March that he sold his car in hopes of avoiding driving while drunk, but would drink and steal a car just to go for a ride to nowhere in particular.
'I'm ashamed of what I've done,' Persons said at the time. 'I could have actually hurt somebody.'
Persons is not allowed to drive a car or try to obtain a drivers license without the approval of his parole office, Lyons said.