NASHUA – Eric Largy was headed to Valley Street Jail in Manchester on Monday for one week after a judge agreed to continue his bail hearing until Judge Charles S. Temple returns from vacation next week.
Largy, 49, who is accused of beating his father – retired Nashua Police Chief Clifton Largy – seven years ago, was discharged from the state’s psychiatric hospital earlier in the day.
Dressed in a black shirt and black slacks, Largy appeared prepared to be released into the community, but his bail remains at $100,000 cash. His lawyers say he has no money to post bail. Judge Temple has indicated he may reduce Largy’s bail to keep him out of Valley Street Jail.
“It’s nothing I want to do, your honor. I just think it’s in my best interest to do it,” Largy said of continuing the bail hearing for another week.
Largy has been held in state custody since the April 22, 2009, incident with his father in Nashua, but criminal charges have only recently been refiled against him.
State Supreme Court Justice Robert Lynn, who was filling in at the Hillsborough County Superior Court South courthouse in Nashua on Monday, agreed to continue Largy’s hearing until next week.
Lynn said it made sense to wait until Temple returns as long as Largy understood that would mean he would be incarcerated in Valley Street Jail until then.
Largy originally spent 18 months in Valley Street Jail after the alleged beating, and was found incompetent to stand trial. He was involuntarily committed to the Secure Psychiatric Unit at state prison for five and a half years, diagnosed with delusional disorder.
Criminal charges that had been dropped in connection with the incident – kidnapping and two counts of first-degree assault – were refiled against Largy in May.
Clifton Largy suffered fractured eye sockets and a broken jaw in the incident. Eric Largy said he was defending himself against an abusive father, but Clifton Largy denied those allegations and said he was attacked from behind that day.
Last week, Probate Court Judge David King timed Largy’s hospital discharge for Aug. 1 to coincide with Temple’s return, but Temple, in fact, won’t be back until next week.
At the Probate hearing last week, Largy’s civil attorney, Shane Stewart, introduced five memos into evidence indicating the Attorney General’s Office influenced Largy’s detention.
Stewart told Judge King the memos support Largy’s claim that originally caused him to be declared not competent. Largy has insisted that his father’s law enforcement connections played a role in his involuntary commitment to the Secure Psychiatric Unit, Stewart said. Clifton Largy has denied those allegations.
“Eric’s concern and really the primary basis for (his) delusional disorder (diagnosis) is that he thought his father was influencing the process, that the chief law enforcement officer in the state – the Attorney General’s Office – had played a role in his going to the Secure Psychiatric Unit and had some say in whether he was being discharged or not,” Stewart said at the Probate hearing.
New Hampshire Hospital’s attorney, Lynne Mitchell, said that Associate Attorney General Anne Edwards offered legal advice only from the civil side of the Attorney General’s Office regarding potential liability should Largy be discharged and hurt someone, not from the criminal side.
At the bail hearing on Monday, Largy’s Public Defender Suzanne Ketteridge told Justice Lynn that it was fair and in Largy’s best interest to wait another week for Judge Temple’s return.
“(Largy) is unwillingly willing to go to Valley Street Jail for one week,” Ketteridge said.
A supporter of Largy’s, Kevin Olena of Milford, attended Monday’s hearing. He described Largy as an old friend.
Olena said it’s time for Largy to start his life over, not face a criminal trial and more time being locked up for what Olena described as a family dispute. “His whole family is nice. Something just went wrong,” Olena said.
Largy helped him and many other people over the years before he was locked up, Olena said. “To me, he was just a good guy,” Olena said, adding that he believes Clifton Largy and other members of Eric’s family are also good people.
Last Friday, Assistant Hillsborough County Attorney Michele Battaglia filed an objection to Largy’s motion to amend his bail.
“The state’s bail argument is essentially that this defendant presents a danger to the community,” Battaglia wrote.
Battaglia pointed out that several psychiatrists still hold that Largy suffers from delusional thinking. Battaglia also said she doubts Largy would comply with any bail conditions, adding he still believes it was a conspiracy that kept him locked up for seven years.
“(I)t is hard to fathom that he would ’agree with’ or ‘follow’ any bail conditions since for the last seven years he has refused to engage in treatment or follow any orders of the court with respect to competency related evaluations,” Battaglia wrote.
Ketteridge and co-counsel Michael Davidow have filed a motion to amend Largy’s bail to $100,000 personal recognizance.
The motion quoted one of Judge King’s prior Probate orders: “Hopefully Mr. Largy will understand …. that the state is not continuing some conspiracy to keep him imprisoned at the (Secure Psychiatric Unit) for the rest of his life and will understand that efforts are being made to transition him to a less restrictive setting and ultimately to his freedom.”