DOVER, N.H. (AP) – Former New Hampshire congressional candidate Gary Dodds has been released from jail after serving eight months for faking his disappearance after a car crash in 2006.

Dodds initially faced only 20 days in jail for the crash, but in July, a judge imposed a suspended 12-month sentence after Dodds was accused of assaulting his wife. Based on his extensive participation in jail programs, he became eligible for release Tuesday after serving two-thirds of his term.

Dodds, a Democrat from Rye, was convicted a year ago of falsifying evidence, creating a false public alarm and leaving the scene of a crash that prosecutors allege he staged to boost his faltering campaign. He is appealing those convictions.

Poe a lawyer nevermore

PORTLAND (AP) -Maine’s supreme court has ordered the disbarment of a Boothbay Harbor lawyer who allegedly stole $70,000 from a trust and failed to appear at a disciplinary hearing.

The order, signed by Justice Robert Clifford, characterized the charges against Franklin Poe as “very serious and flagrant” and said disbarment is the only appropriate sanction.

One of several grievances against Poe stemmed from his work with a trust whose main asset is the Trailing Yew Inn on Monhegan Island. The Lincoln County Probate Court suspended Poe from his post as trustee after he failed to distribute profits or trust assets to beneficiaries.

The case was turned over last summer to the attorney general’s office for a criminal review. Poe couldn’t be reached immediately for comment.

Sentencing set in murder case

SKOWHEGAN (AP) – A Canaan man will be sentenced Wednesday for murder in the beating death of his 38-year-old girlfriend, but the judge who rendered the guilty verdict at his jury-waived trial will not decide his punishment.

Superior Court Justice Nancy Mills recused herself from the sentencing of Shannon Atwood after a defense lawyer said her knowledge of a woman Atwood had assaulted years earlier could raise questions about her impartiality.

Mills had found Atwood guilty of murdering Cheryl Murdoch, whose body was found in August 2006 in woods near the home where the two had been living. Atwood initially was charged with murdering his estranged wife, Shirley Moon-Atwood, but her body has never been found and that charge was dropped.

Atwood will be sentenced by Justice Thomas Delahanty II.


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