Argued May 7, 2015
Joseph A. Foster, attorney general ( Elizabeth A. Lahey, assistant attorney general, and Richard W. Head, senior assistant attorney general, on the brief, and Mr. Head orally), for the State.
Catherine J. Flinchbaugh, public defender, of Concord, on the brief and orally, for the respondent.
LYNN, J. DALIANIS, C.J., and HICKS, CONBOY, and BASSETT, JJ., concurred.
The issue before us in this Rule 11 petition for certiorari review, see S.Ct. R. 11, filed by the State, is whether the Adult Parole Board (APB) exceeded its authority or otherwise violated the rights of the respondent, Jerry Roberts, when it paroled him to a consecutive sentence -- the maximum of which had been suspended -- but then refused to release him from prison upon his completion of the minimum term of that sentence. We hold that the APB's actions were not improper and we therefore reverse the order of the Superior Court ( Anderson, J.), which granted the respondent's petition for habeas corpus relief.
The pertinent facts are not in dispute. The respondent was convicted of aggravated felonious sexual assault (AFSA) and sentenced to four-to-ten years at the New Hampshire State Prison (prison). The respondent also received a sentence of one-to-two years for related conduct; that sentence was suspended. The respondent began serving his four-to-ten year sentence in 2008. On April 1, 2013, the respondent
was classified as a C-1 inmate and resided in a halfway house at the prison. While at the halfway house, the respondent was arrested and consequently returned to general population status in the prison. Following his arrest, the State moved to impose his one-to-two year suspended sentence. The Superior Court ( O'Neill, J.) partially granted the State's motion: it imposed the one-year minimum sentence, which was to be served consecutively to the four-to-ten year sentence, but suspended the two-year maximum of the sentence.
On August 15, 2013, the respondent appeared before the APB, as he had served the minimum four years of his AFSA sentence. See RSA 651-A:6, I (2007) (subsequently amended). At that time, he was " approved for parole to consecutive," and his parole hearing paperwork indicated that he must have " review prior to release consideration" with the Administrative Review Committee (ARC). The respondent thus began serving his one-year consecutive sentence. On October 2, 2013, the ARC ...