Prosecutors in New Hampshire are fighting an appeal by a Massachusetts State Police sergeant accused of strangling his girlfriend who wants a judge to release him on bail while he awaits trial.
A New Hampshire assistant county attorney filed a motion late last week opposing MSP Sgt. Bryan Erickson's bid for the judge to reconsider denying bail.
"The Court agreed with the State that even supervised release would not be appropriate and that there are no conditions to otherwise mitigate the safety risks of allowing the Defendant to be released," N.H. Assistant County Attorney Ryan Ollis wrote in an objection to Erickson's motion.
Erickson, 38, has been locked up in New Hampshire's Rockingham County Jail for more than two weeks after the late January alleged assault at the girlfriend's home in Exeter. The sergeant is facing seven charges — including second-degree assault for allegedly strangling his girlfriend, and simple assault for head-butting her.
Judge Martin Honigberg ruled last week that the sergeant should remain behind bars, saying there's "clear and convincing evidence of the defendant's dangerousness."
But then Erickson's defense attorney filed the motion to reconsider, writing that the judge at the time of the ruling had not evaluated a report from the Rockingham County Services Pretrial Release Assessment.
"The Court did not have the benefit of Corporal Raymond's report informing that if Mr. Erickson follows the recommended bail conditions the program can effectively watch him," Erickson's lawyer Hank Brennan.
Erickson has a leased residential address in Seabrook, N.H. If the judge released him to home confinement, the sergeant would stay there with his wife and two children, Brennan said in the appeal.
However, the N.H. prosecutor in response noted that the court's pretrial release assessment, "concludes that the Defendant would be a high risk."
"While the Rockingham County Pretrial Release Program is an excellent alternative to preventative detention in other cases, it is not appropriate in this case," the prosecutor wrote. "Placing a bracelet on the Defendant may indicate where the Defendant is on a map but it does not indicate who he is with, what he is doing, who he is communicating with, etc. It also cannot monitor whether or not the Defendant has access to the internet, is using the internet, etc."
"CPL Raymond's assessment does not present new facts or law not previously considered by the Court," the prosecutor added. "The safety risks have not changed. The Defendant's Motion to Reconsider should be denied."
The Massachusetts State Police has suspended Erickson without pay. He earned $186,000 last year. The sergeant had been assigned to Troop A Northeast, which covers Andover to Revere.
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