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Man sentenced for stabbings, setting fire to church

Union Leader Correspondent

July 09. 2018 10:54PM
Andrew K. Boisvert awaits sentencing Monday morning in Grafton County Superior Court where he pleaded guilty to setting two fires, stabbing two people and committing a pair of burglaries in Lebanon in December 2016. (John Koziol/Correspondent)

NORTH HAVERHILL — With both an apology and a denial, Anthony K. Boisvert pleaded guilty Monday to burning down the Lebanon First Baptist Church and to stabbing two people in 2016.

Boisvert, 29, formerly of Tannery Lane in Lebanon, appeared in Grafton County Superior Court before Justice Lawrence MacLeod, where, as part of a negotiated agreement with the state, Boisvert changed his pleas from “not guilty” to “guilty” in connection with multiple crimes he committed in Lebanon on Dec. 28 and Dec. 30, 2016.

“I apologize for the First Baptist Church,” Boisvert told the court, adding that salacious details of his actions before the fire — according to a police affidavit, Boisvert told investigators he watched child pornography in the church and masturbated before lighting an American flag and ultimately the draperies — were “a lie.”

“I accept my plea and I hope I get the help I need,” said Boisvert, who was then led away by bailiffs.

MacLeod sentenced Boisvert to serve a term of between 25 and 50 years in New Hampshire State Prison.

Earlier, John Bell, an assistant Grafton County attorney, told MacLeod that had Boisvert’s case gone to trial, the state would have proven that Boisvert had set two fires on Dec. 28, 2016, the first that caused in excess of $2 million damage to the church, the second at an occupied, multi-unit dwelling on Mascoma Street where Boisvert knew that children lived.

In the second fire, Boisvert lit some clothes that he threw on a couch in the basement, to which the fire damage was confined.

Boisvert also broke into two non-profits in town looking for money, said Bell, and two days later, in retaliation for his reportedly talking to authorities about Boisvert, stabbed Wade Bennett and Diane Faughnan.

When asked by MacLeod whether Boisvert’s victims were satisfied with the proposed sentences, Bell acknowledged that Bennett wanted a punishment that exceeded the 7.5 to 15 year maximum for First-Degree Assault. Bell added that no other victim had expressed an opinion.

MacLeod gave Boisvert credit for 555 days of pre-trial confinement and ordered him to make restitution of $1,000 to the Lebanon First Baptist Church — the amount covers the church’s insurance deductible, explained Bell — and of $1,000 to the Davidson Properties Co.

Prior to Monday’s plea-and-sentencing hearing, both the state and Public Defender Constantine Hutchins, raised questions about Boisvert’s competency.

The state’s report was sealed and on Monday, Hutchins told MacLeod that he was satisfied that Boisvert was competent.

Courts Crime General News North Haverhill

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