Argued: March 15, 2018
J. MacDonald, attorney general (Elizabeth A. Lahey, assistant
attorney general, on the memorandum of law and orally), for
Christopher M. Johnson, chief appellate defender, of Concord,
on the brief and orally, for the defendant.
defendant, Jeremy Surrell, appeals an order of the Superior
Court (Ruoff, J.) denying his petition to suspend
his sentence under RSA 651:20, I (2016). We affirm.
record reflects the following facts. In 2011, the defendant
was indicted on four counts of aggravated felonious sexual
assault (AFSA). See RSA 632-A:2, I(1) (2016). These
indictments alleged that, on four occasions, the defendant
engaged in fellatio with a child under the age of thirteen.
In May 2013, the defendant pleaded guilty to two of the AFSA
charges and the State entered a nolle prosequi on
the other two. The trial court sentenced the defendant to a
stand committed sentence of seven and one-half to fifteen
years and to a suspended sentence of ten to twenty years.
January 2017, the defendant filed a petition to suspend his
sentence under RSA 651:20, I(a). RSA 651:20, I, provides:
I. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, except as
provided in subparagraphs (a), (b), and (c), the sentence to
imprisonment of any person may be suspended by the sentencing
court at the time of imposition of the sentence or at any
time thereafter in response to a petition to suspend sentence
which is timely brought in accordance with the limitations
set forth below in subparagraphs (a), (b), and (c).
(a) Any person sentenced to state prison for a minimum term
of 6 years or more shall not bring a petition to suspend
sentence until such person has served at least 4 years or 2/3
of his minimum sentence, whichever is greater, and not more
frequently than every 3 years thereafter.
RSA 651:20, I(a). The defendant attached an affidavit
supporting his petition and documentation demonstrating his
successful completion of educational and rehabilitative
programs while incarcerated. The trial court then requested
that the Warden of the New Hampshire State Prison prepare and
file a synopsis of the defendant's incarceration for the
court to consider prior to ruling on the petition. The Warden
complied with this request.
the trial court denied the defendant's petition to
suspend his sentence, stating that the "conduct against
the [victim] does not warrant a lesser sentence." The
defendant filed a motion to reconsider. In denying the motion
to reconsider, the trial court stated:
The Court carefully considered all of the mitigating evidence
submitted by the defendant prior to denying his RSA 651:20
The Court was impressed with the defendant's efforts
while serving his sentence. However, the Court cannot ignore
the punitive aspect of the original sentence, which is why
the Court looked to ...