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Judge denies work release to Manchester man sentenced in fatal Hampstead crash
BRENTWOOD — A judge has denied work release for a Manchester man who is in state prison for causing a fatal car crash that killed a Sandown teenager.
Preston Thissell, 25, was ordered to serve at least 1½ years in prison – his minimum sentence – before being eligible for parole in March, according to Judge N. William Delker.
Thissell is serving a 1½- to 5-year state prison sentence for causing Daniel Hendershot, 19, to strike another vehicle head-on on Route 121A in Hampstead.
The fatal wreck happened Feb. 14, 2008.
Delker decided to block Thissell’s bid for work release after a Sept. 7 hearing in Rockingham County Superior Court.
The state Department of Corrections concluded in August that Thissell’s “likelihood of rehabilitation will be enhanced” by granting work release, according to court records.
County prosecutors and the victim’s mother both opposed the early release, court records show.
“It is not appropriate to consider an offender with this type of conviction and this level of sentence for a work release program,” Deputy County Attorney Tom Reid said in an objection in court.
A jury convicted Thissell of negligent homicide last June. He was found not guilty of manslaughter and five counts of reckless conduct.
The jury concluded Thissell was not liable for injuring Hendershot’s girlfriend or three women traveling in a car that Hendershot’s vehicle struck head on.
Thissell was driving erratically and almost “window to window” with Hendershot’s car before it collided with an oncoming car, according to court testimony.
Thissell was found at the crash scene by Hampstead police after calling 911 for help. He was not charged until September 2009.
Prosecutors say Thissell’s jealousy prompted him to follow Hendershot and his girlfriend, Kaitlyn Sullivan, leading up to the fatal crash.
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