Fleeing Carroll County inmate pleads guilty and is sentenced on escape, forgery and drug chargesBy John Koziol
Union Leader Correspondent
April 25. 2018 8:58PM
OSSIPEE — The Carroll County inmate who fled instead of returning to the House of Corrections after a furlough to attend his mother’s funeral pleaded guilty Wednesday to the escape charge, as well as five others, including possession of methamphetamine and fentanyl.
William Whicher, 25, of Ossipee, appeared yesterday in Carroll County Superior Court before Justice Amy Ignatius, who accepted his guilty pleas to four felonies — forgery, escape and the two drug possessions — and two misdemeanors: theft and attempted theft by unauthorized taking.
Under a sentencing package worked out between the state and defense that Ignatius called “pretty lenient, pretty light,” Whicher will serve 12 months in the Carroll County House of Corrections, and get credit for 114 days of pretrial confinement on the forgery charge.
All of the other sentences, which were suspended for five years, will run concurrent to Whicher’s sentence for forgery.
Matthew Conley, who is an assistant Carroll County attorney, said had the state gone to trial it would have proven that Whicher, who was picked up on Nov. 25, 2017 in Rochester on a warrant, and on Nov. 27, was granted a two-day furlough to go to his mother’s funeral, failed to return to the CCHOC by 2 p.m. Nov. 29 as directed. That failure then led the state to charge Whicher with escape.
In December 2016, while attempting to enter the Carroll County Court complex, Conley said Whicher turned over a tin lozenge box to bailiffs, who upon opening it, found inside marijuana, pills, and a white powder which later was determined to be methamphetamine.
In May of 2017, Whicher forged a check from an Effingham resident and took $150 cash from her, said Conley, adding that in the same month Whicher was also found guilty of possessing fentanyl. Finally, in June 2017, Whicher unsuccessfully attempted to cash another forged check for $250 from the Effingham woman’s account.
In all, Conley said, Whicher faced ten charges, four of which would be dropped in exchange for his pleas of guilty.
After accepting his pleas, Ignatius told Whicher that she had been “very unhappy” to learn that he had not returned from his funeral furlough. She complimented him, however, on the progress he is making behind bars, including a pursuit of a high-school equivalency diploma.