Eric Largy walked out of court in Nashua a free man for the first time in seven years on Monday – at least temporarily – after Judge Charles S. Temple reduced his bail to $100,000 personal recognizance.
Largy, 49, has been locked up since April 22, 2009, the day he was accused of assaulting his father, retired Nashua Police Chief Clifton Largy. Eric Largy was first held at Valley Street Jail for 18 months, deemed incompetent to stand trial after being diagnosed with delusional disorder and involuntarily committed to the Secure Psychiatric Unit at the state prison for men in Concord for five and a half years. Largy has insisted he doesn’t have a mental illness.
Largy was only recently re-indicted on kidnapping and two counts of first-degree assault charges in connection with the assault on his father at Eric’s Nashua home. The indictments were handed up just days after a Probate Court judge recommended he be released from the New Hampshire Hospital, where he had been moved a couple of months earlier.
Upon release, a friend drove Largy to the 99 Restaurant in Nashua for boneless buffalo wings, then on to pick up his clothes and medicine for his heart condition at the New Hampshire Hospital and Valley Street Jail. He stopped, too, at Walmart for toiletries and towels before heading home. He won’t say where he is going to be living except to say it isn’t in Nashua.
“Unbelievable. I don’t know how to feel,” Largy said as he was leaving Hillsborough County Superior Court in Nashua, adding he’s a little shell-shocked. “I came in with low expectations given what I have experienced so far. I was kind of a little shocked that it actually went that way. I’m very happy with that.”
“They tasted pretty good,” Largy later said of the buffalo wings.
Largy has claimed that he was abused by his father all of his life and insisted that the senior Largy pulled strings to have him deprived of a trial and be civilly committed instead. Clifton Largy denies all of his son’s allegations and insisted he was lured to Eric’s house that day and attacked from behind.
Clifton Largy suffered a broken jaw and fractured eye sockets in an attack police described as 12 hours of torture in which he was restrained in an antique barber’s chair.
Assistant Hillsborough County Attorney Michele Battaglia argued that Largy is still a danger to the community. She said she doesn’t expect he will follow any of the bail conditions set by Temple.
“The issue clearly is one of dangerousness,” Battaglia said. “And his failure to follow through with any treatment, which has led, I guess, to him being there for such a long period of time.”
Battaglia said Largy has refused treatment. “The concern the state has is, if the court were to issue bail conditions, what is the likelihood that Mr. Largy is going to follow those bail conditions given what has happened over the past seven years?”
Public Defender Suzanne Ketteridge said Largy has already been locked up for longer than he would have been had he been convicted at trial.
“At some point, people have to accept he’s going to be released into the community. We’re just kicking the can down the road,” Ketteridge said.
She also noted that psychiatrists and staffers at the hospital and Secure Psychiatric Unit have said he has always been very polite and looked out for weaker patients.
“Even when he was attacked at the Secure Psychiatric Unit, he behaved appropriately,” Ketteridge said.
“He’s been denied his opportunity to earn a living for the last seven years. He has no resources available to him and he shouldn’t be punished for that,” Ketteridge said.
Public Defender Michael Davidow also argued his motion for Judge Temple to reconsider dismissing the charges against Largy.
Temple ordered that Largy have no contact with his father and other immediate family members, and that he not have any weapons.
Temple also ordered Largy to participate in treatment at the Greater Nashua Mental Health Center. If Largy leaves for any reason other than successful completion, the judge said he will revoke his bail.
Temple also ordered a bail review hearing in 30 days and has ordered another competency evaluation.
“At this point, I haven’t been presented evidence that would prove by a preponderance of the evidence that you are in fact dangerous to yourself or the community at this point,” Temple said.
“You are released on $100,000 personal recognizance pending your trial in this matter,” Temple told Largy, adding it is very important he have no contact with his father.
Temple scheduled the review hearing for Sept. 7 at 9 a.m.