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State v. Carr

Supreme Court of New Hampshire

January 13, 2015

The State of New Hampshire
v.
Colleen Carr

Argued November 12, 2014

Editorial Note:

Under New Hampshire procedural rule this decision is subject to motion for rehearing, as well as formal revision before publication in the New Hampshire reports.

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Hillsborough -- southern judicial district.

Joseph A. Foster, attorney general ( Susan P. McGinnis, senior assistant attorney general, on the brief and orally), for the State.

Keefe & Keefe P.A., of Wilton ( William Keefe on the brief and orally), for the defendant.

HICKS, J. DALIANIS, C.J., and CONBOY, LYNN, and BASSETT, JJ., concurred.

OPINION

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Hicks, J.

The defendant, Colleen Carr, appeals her conviction by a jury on one count of felony criminal solicitation of accomplice to insurance fraud, see RSA 629:2 (2007); RSA 638:20, III (2007), IV(a)(1) (Supp. 2014), and two counts of felony witness tampering, see RSA 641:5, I (2007). On appeal, she argues that the Superior Court ( Colburn, J.) erred by: (1) failing to dismiss the criminal solicitation indictment; (2) declining to give the jury two of her requested instructions; and (3) denying her motion to dismiss the second witness tampering conviction on double jeopardy grounds. The defendant also argues that the evidence was insufficient to convict her of criminal solicitation and of one of the witness tampering charges. We affirm.

I. Background Facts

The jury could have found the following facts. The defendant owned a building at 139 Union Square, in an area known as the " Milford Oval" in Milford. Her mother's real estate business and a tobacco business owned by Richard Fells occupied the first floor of the building. The defendant and her boyfriend, Conrad Kelleher, lived on the second floor, and a tenant and her daughter lived on the third floor.

In late 2012, the defendant and Kelleher discussed selling the building. Kelleher thought that doing so would help the defendant's financial situation, which he knew " wasn't good." Shortly thereafter, the defendant informed Kelleher of her idea to address her situation: she proposed to collect $403,000 in insurance proceeds by having the building burned down. The defendant told Kelleher that because she did not want their belongings to be " ruined," they should move them out but then " bring some old stuff in so it wouldn't look so obvious."

The defendant and Kelleher spoke about involving the tenant in the plan. In mid-January 2013, the defendant approached the tenant, told her " [t]hat she was broke," and said that " [s]he wanted to torch the building to get the insurance money." The defendant offered to pay the tenant $7,000 to " leave for two weeks." The defendant assured the tenant that if the tenant " wanted to keep anything[,] [the defendant] would store it at her mother's house." She also told the tenant " that she would help [her] find a place to live so [the tenant] wouldn't have to worry where [she] was going to live after that." The defendant

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informed the tenant that she was moving her own belongings " [i]nto her mother's basement," and that " she didn't care" about the businesses located in her building " because they all had insurance." The defendant told the tenant that " she didn't want [her] to tell anybody." Later that evening, the tenant telephoned the defendant and " told her [she] didn't want any part of this scheme." The defendant told the tenant " to get out." A few days later, the tenant spoke to Fells about the defendant's plan because she " was afraid ... ...


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