Motions denied for Mass. man accused of kidnapping mom, bringing her to NH
Judge Steven Houran also denied a motion requesting that the defendant, Darin Brown, be released on personal recognizance bail prior to his trial, and denied permission for Brown to be moved from Strafford County Jail in Dover to Carroll County Jail in Ossipee.
Brown, 43, and his wife, Sharon Giordano, 38, are charged with two counts each of kidnapping and one count each of criminal restraint, second degree assault and resisting arrest. Brown's case was listed for jury selection on the court's January docket, but a heavy volume, lack of judges the last two weeks of February, and other pending criminal trials pushed this and other cases to later this spring. Carroll County attorney Robin Gordon said Monday the case may not be heard until May. Giordano's trial, previously scheduled to begin in May, was also postponed to later this spring. No dates have been set.
According to affidavits and court documents filed in the case, the couple moved Brown's 80-year-old mother from her Stoneham, Mass., home to several locations before moving her to Giordano's home on Fox Run Road in West Ossipee, a home she owns with her ex-husband. Police in Ossipee were alerted to the case after family members and a private detective in Massachusetts reported Joan Brown missing and had reason to believe she was with Darin Brown and Giordano. During a probable cause hearing held in July 2012 after the couple was arrested, a legal guardian assigned to the case said officials in Massachusetts discovered more than $600,000 had been transferred from Joan Brown's account to the defendants. Since their arrests, both defendants have been held on $100,000 cash or corporate surety bail.
Defense attorney Eric Wolpin of the New Hampshire Public Defender's office in Laconia is representing Brown. He filed a motion to dismiss the case for lack of speedy trial and a motion requesting a bail hearing.
In his order, Houran stated that although Brown's pretrial detention has lasted approximately seven months, there is "no indication the state had not been diligently pursing the trial against him." He stated that although the detention is more than the four months set in Superior Court Rules, the court does not consider it "overly onerous."
Houran also denied a request for a bail hearing at which to modify the condition of Brown's bail, and a transfer from the county jail in Dover to the Carroll County jail in Ossipee.
County prosecutors objected to all of the motions.
In his order, Houran said that while it was indicated at a prior hearing that Brown may not be a danger to others, "the court still believes that Brown still presents a significant flight risk. The court is aware of no ties Brown has to New Hampshire, and there is an allegation that Brown might have access to a significant amount of money, which bolsters such risk of flight."