NEWPORT — Former Claremont police officer Ian Kibbe admitted in court Monday that he lied about seeing a gun during an incident and falsified a police report to make an arrest.
Kibbe, 31, entered into a plea agreement in Sullivan County Superior Court on one count of unsworn falsification and one count of obstruction of government administration.
If convicted at trial, he could have spent several years behind bars.
Instead, Kibbe will serve no more than 90 days in jail, and possibly less, depending on the result of a sentencing hearing at a later date.
Kibbe will lose his New Hampshire police certification and can no longer work as a police officer in New Hampshire.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Geoffrey Ward called Kibbe’s actions outrageous.
“To have law enforcement officers not only lie in the police reports, but lie in the documentation submitted to the courts, is incredibly outrageous and it undermines all of the good, law-abiding, hard-working law enforcement officers that are out there every day and night keeping us safe,” Ward said. “It undermines trust in those officers and it undermines trust in the entire system.”
Kibbe lied about seeing weapons in the bedroom of convicted felon Christopher Ratcliffe.
Kibbe was in Ratcliffe’s apartment with then-Claremont officer Mark Burch and state trooper Eric Fosterling to serve an arrest warrant on Ratcliffe in February.
Ward said in court that Kibbe and Burch lied at the scene, telling Fosterling that a baton, a Glock pistol and a rifle were among the weapons in plain sight in Ratcliffe’s bedroom. Instead, the weapons were inside closed bags when the officers first arrested Ratcliffe.
Kibbe wrote in his report and an affidavit that the weapons were in plain sight, then he signed the affidavit to support the arrest.
Burch took the affidavit to a justice of the peace in Charlestown, who did not require Kibbe to swear to the truth of the affidavit, according to Ward. Ward declined to address the justice of the peace at this time.
Ward said it is still being determined if Burch will face charges.
Burch resigned from the department after Fosterling reported his concerns about the arrest to officials.
Kibbe’s arrest resulted in at least 30 cases in which Kibbe had been involved to be dropped. More cases are under review.
At Monday’s hearing were the parents of Cody Lafont, the Claremont man Kibbe killed in September 2015. While the shooting was initially considered justified, the Attorney General’s office is taking a second look.
“It don’t bring my son back,” said Ken Lafont.
Melissa Lafont, Cody Lafont’s stepmother, said there are still too many unanswered questions in the shooting and she is not satisfied with the way the state has handled the case.
“I think he’s gotten away with the murder of my son,” she said.
The sentencing hearing in the case has yet to be scheduled.