Home » News » Public Safety
Court tosses felony wiretap conviction in taping of Manchester police captain, high school officials
Mueller, 31, formerly of Jackson, Wis., but now residing in Laconia, was convicted of secretly recording telephone conversations he had with a Manchester police captain, the Manchester West High School principal and her assistant in 2011 and spent three months in jail.
He was seeking their comments on a video he posted on YouTube that showed a confrontation between West High student Frank Harrington III, 17, and police detective Darren Murphy in the school's cafeteria. Harrington was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Murphy was recorded roughly pushing Harrington down onto a cafeteria table. A police department internal review concluded Murphy did not use excessive force.
Mueller, a Free Stater who goes by the name "Ademo Freeman," posted the telephone recordings online. Police learned of them when Mueller mentioned them on a local radio show and acknowledged he did not tell Capt. Jonathan Hopkins, then West High School principal Mary Ellen McGorry, or her assistant Denise Michael that he had recorded the conversations.
The Supreme Court, in its decision released Tuesday, said Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Kenneth C. Brown erred when he instructed the jury that a violation of the felony wiretapping statute requires a mental state of "purposely," when the statute specifically identifies "wilfully" as the applicable mental state.
Under state law, "wilful" means the defendant must act with an intentional or reckless disregard for the lawfulness of his conduct. In other words, the defendant has not violated the law if he has a "good faith" belief his conduct was lawful, according to the unanimous decision written by Justice Robert J. Lynn.
The court said the erroneous instruction likely affected the outcome of the proceedings and to allow the convictions to stand "would seriously affect the fairness and integrity of judicial proceedings."
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Group raising money for family of Raymond man killed by boulder - 0
- Newly renovated Blair Covered Bridge damaged by truck - 0
- Nashua man who died jumping off bridge to escape heat identified - 0
- Pit bull owner sought in fatal attack on another dog near Tuckerman Ravine - 15
- Man's body pulled from Merrimack River - 0
- Free gun lock giveway begins Sept. 1 in Conway - 0
- Victim identified in fatal Pelham motorcycle accident - 0
- Man killed in Pelham motorcycle accident identified as local man, 24 - 0
- Manchester man seriously injured after driving into oncoming traffic - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Goffstown's Bourque impresses; Memorial, Bishop Guertin, Pinkerton win in Queen City Jamboree - 0
- Hanover boys soccer edges defense-minded BG - 0
- NH Fisher Cats, Pierre stun Rock Cats in 4-3 win - 0
- Helping hands for new St. Anselm students in Manchester on move in day - 0
- To market, to market: Market Basket shoppers flock on in - 0
- Nashua Market Basket employee: 'Worth every day of work lost' - 0
- NH teen killers to get sentence reviews after state Supreme Court decision - 0
- Manchester raid came 8 months after home invasion - 0
- NH killer in 1991 Smart trial seeks time with wife - 0
Where is Shaheen? Hiding from you
Goffstown's Bourque impresses; Memorial, Bishop Guertin, Pinkerton win in Queen City Jamboree
Win tickets to see Steven Wright