Bar wins fight for recordsBy JAMES A. KIMBLE
Union Leader Correspondent
August 29. 2013 12:04AM
BRENTWOOD — A judge is allowing owners of The Page Restaurant access to police reports, and other evidence used to prosecute a Dover man headed to trial on manslaughter charges for allegedly attacking a bar patron.
“The facts of the two matters are so inextricably woven that the state cannot reasonably justify denying The Page” access to the information, lawyer Matthew Stachowske said in court papers.
Zachary O’Neill was indicted last month on charges of manslaughter and first-degree assault for coming up behind Joshua Krantz, 24, and repeatedly striking him in the head while the two were on the Portsmouth restaurant’s lower-level dance floor around 12:43 a.m. on April 6, according to prosecutors.
Owners of the now-defunct bar are in the process of defending its corporation, New Adventure Entertainment LLC, from two felony counts of illegally serving alcoholic drinks in a dance floor area.
Each of the charges is punishable by up to $100,000 in fines.
Stachowske filed a request to gain access to materials from the O’Neill investigation to prepare for defending New Adventure Entertainment LLC from criminal charges.
A judge will also hear arguments next month on whether the case against the corporation should be dismissed.
The evidence that Stachowske now has access to includes the interviews of all witnesses collected during the Portsmouth police investigation, including statements from bar staff, friends of O’Neill’s and other witnesses who were present when the alleged attack happened.
Krantz was found dead in his apartment the morning after the assault. He had asked friends to take him home to sleep off the pain he sustained from being struck by O’Neill, according to a police affidavit.
Stachowske has described the case against New Adventures Entertainment as “fantastic charges” that should be dismissed by a judge.
Judge N. William Delker will hear those arguments at a hearing on Sept. 18.
Assistant County Attorney Patricia Conway argued in court papers that The Page would have needed specific permission from the state Liquor Commission to allow consumption of liquor on the dance floor.
If a judge agrees that the charges against New Entertainment LLC can proceed, a trial is set to take place on Oct. 28.
The Page shut its doors permanently on June 21 as part of an agreement with the city.