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Local & Regional Briefs for Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Sean M. Merrihew (Hanover Police photograph)

Sean M. Merrihew (Hanover Police photograph)

Lebanon Man Charged In Hanover Assault

Hanover — The police department on Monday charged a Lebanon man in the assault of a 53-year-old Hanover resident early in the morning on Sunday, July 27.

The suspect, Sean Merrihew, 23, is accused of attacking Mark Cookson on Wheelock Street following a verbal confrontation, a Hanover Police Department news release said on Tuesday.

Merrihew faces a charge of second degree assault, a Class B felony, and was released on $10,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear before the Lebanon Second Circuit Court on Sept.15, the release says.

Although Cookson could not identify his assailant, he remembered seeing a woman with him. Witnesses also saw a man and a woman run from the scene.

Police Chief Charlie Dennis said he would not release further details until the investigation concluded.

This was the second of two late-night assaults on or near the Dartmouth campus last month. Just after midnight on July 2, two Upper Valley men allegedly attacked and robbed a Dartmouth student on the Hanover Green and were arrested soon afterward by police.

Dennis didn’t see a pattern in the recent assaults, but said that police would step up patrols on Wheelock Street, a normally active thoroughfare that is less traveled in the wee hours of the night.

Defense, State Spar Over Evidence In Girl’s Kidnap Case

Ossipee, n.h. (ap) — Lawyers for a man accused of kidnapping a 14-year-old New Hampshire girl who returned home nine months later want to preserve his house, a storage unit and other evidence collected by the state.

An expedited hearing is scheduled for today for 34-year-old Nathaniel Kibby, the former machinist charged with snatching Abigail Hernandez on Oct. 9 as she walked home from school. Abigail returned home on July 20.

Kibby’s attorney wants 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. The state argues it’s impossible to safeguard the trailer and storage unit without posting a 24-hour guard. — Staff and wire reports