Defense, state spar over evidence in girl's kidnap
OSSIPEE, N.H. (AP) — Lawyers for a man accused of kidnapping a 14-year-old girl who returned home nine months later want a judge to preserve his house, a storage unit and other evidence collected by the state.
In court papers filed Tuesday, Nathaniel Kibby's lawyer argues he needs to keep all the evidence preserved because he has so little information on why his client was arrested.
Kibby, a 34-year-old former machinist, was charged last month with snatching Abigail Hernandez as she walked home from high school in October. Abigail returned home last month.
Kibby's public defender, Jesse Friedman, is asking a judge to secure all evidence, including medical records from exams of Abigail, phone and text records, investigative notes and blood, saliva and other bodily substances. He wants the protection extended to evidence collected at Kibby's home in Gorham and the town house Abigail shares with her mother in nearby Conway.
Kibby is charged with a felony count of kidnapping, which carries a sentence of up to seven years in prison if he's convicted. He's being held on $1 million cash bail.
At a hearing on Wednesday, the state plans to argue that it's impossible to safeguard the trailer and storage unit without posting a 24-hour guard at the site and that by securing them offsite they will be better preserved. In court papers, state Attorney General Joseph Foster says leaving the home and storage unit where they are would attract the curious and possibly vandals. The state says it will make every effort to preserve the other items listed in the defense papers.
Abigail disappeared on Oct. 9, and for nine months the only trace of her was a letter she wrote to her mother. She returned home on July 20, but the circumstances of her return are just as mysterious as those of her disappearance.