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CONCORD,NH - A judge yesterday said because James Conrad was suffering "extreme emotional distress" on Nov. 28, 2007, he found the former state trooper not guilty on charges stemming from an incident at police headquarters in which Conrad allegedly threatened to kill everyone in the room.
Conrad, 49, since fired by state police, was found not guilty of three misdemeanors -- violating a marital protective order, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
At trial yesterday, Trooper Christopher Laporte described Conrad as hysterically crying, pacing and saying his life was over because of domestic problems and a related internal investigation. Laporte, who was acting as a troopers union advocate for Conrad that day, said Conrad had tried to jump out a window at headquarters. He was worried he would kill himself, he said.
CONRAD

"He (Conrad) was semi-hyperventilating; he was stuttering and having a hard time catching his breath," Laporte said.
Conrad, in law enforcement for 19 1/2 years, told Laporte he didn't care about his military service, his job or family and that he would "go live in a box in Florida," Laporte testified.
District Court Judge Gerard J. Boyle issued his ruling late yesterday, saying the state failed to prove Conrad had the guilty mental state needed to prove each offense.
"The evidence presented at both the hearing on the motion to suppress and during the trial on the merits was overwhelming that the accused was suffering on the day in question from extreme emotional distress and was incapable of forming the requisite mens rea (guilty state of mind)...," Boyle wrote.
A criminal threatening charge -- alleging Conrad threatened to commit murder by taking Concord Police Officer Miguel Cebollero's gun and shooting him and everyone in the room at state police headquarters -- was dismissed.
Assistant Concord City Prosecutor Tracy A. Connolly wouldn't detail why she decided to drop that charge.
Conrad's lawyer, Eric Wilson of Nashua, argued that his client was on the verge of a mental breakdown that day and learning about the internal investigation pushed him over the edge. Wilson said state police should have relieved Conrad of duty that day instead of forcing him to stay at headquarters when he wanted to resign and leave.
"Had he been relieved of duty, we wouldn't be here today," Wilson said.
Prosecutor Connolly argued that Conrad was trying to blame state police. State Police did the right thing keeping him at headquarters because they feared Conrad could hurt himself or his estranged wife, Laura.
"He was clearly making threats to his safety and his wife's safety," Connolly told the judge.
Connolly questioned Conrad's wife, Laura, about a telephone call Conrad made that day from headquarters.
Connolly said Conrad called and told his wife, "You had to call. You ruined my life," using several expletives during the call, intending to alarm her.
Laura Conrad testified briefly, tried to invoke marital privilege and said she didn't recall what her husband said during that call because she was also upset that day. She said they are legally separated.
After his arrest, the New Hampshire Union Leader reviewed court records that showed Conrad had sought and obtained a K-9 search unit two months earlier to track down his wife because he thought she was with another man. Conrad later told New Hampshire Sunday News he was only worried about her well-being.
According to court records, Conrad called Laconia police Sept. 23, 2007, asking them to do a welfare check on his wife. Her vehicle was found by Meredith police at Inter-Lakes Elementary School. Police chased Conrad, who was speeding and refused to stop until he reached his wife's car that night.
 
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