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Exeter police critic heading to jail after suspended sentence imposed

Union Leader Correspondent

July 26. 2018 9:53AM

BRENTWOOD — The Exeter man who was once accused of defaming Exeter Police Chief William Shupe based on a charge that was later dropped will be heading to jail after all.

Robert Frese, 62, has been ordered to report to the Rockingham County jail on Aug. 1 to begin serving 30 days of a suspended sentence he received in an unrelated criminal mischief case in 2016.

At a hearing Tuesday, Brentwood Circuit Court Judge David LeFrancois approved an agreement in which Frese admitted that he violated the terms of a sentence in the criminal mischief case because he was convicted earlier this year in a hit-and-run accident in Portsmouth.

Under the agreement, Frese will spend 30 days of the suspended sentence behind bars.

Frese was convicted of criminal mischief in 2016 in a case stemming from an incident in 2015 in which he smashed out the rear window of a 2011 GMC Terrain. He was given a 60-day sentence and a $1,000 fine. Both the sentence and $500 of the fine were to be suspended for two years if he stayed out of trouble.

However, Frese was convicted of conduct after an accident in March.

Exeter police prosecutor Mandi Werner argued that he violated the terms of his suspended sentence and urged the court to impose the suspended time.

Frese also was arrested in May, charged with one count of criminal defamation of character for posting an online comment that read, “Chief Shupe covered up for a dirty cop.”

Frese has had several encounters with police over the years and claimed they’ve been targeting him.

The police department came under fire from the New Hampshire chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which urged police to dismiss the case contending it raised serious freedom of speech concerns and appeared to be an effort by police to suppress critics.

The charge was later dropped after police said the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office determined police wouldn’t prevail if the case went to trial.

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