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Defense opposes evidence removal in Abigail Hernandez case

Mobile home cited in abduction case

Lawyers for Nathaniel E. Kibby, the man accused of kidnapping New Hampshire teen Abigail Hernandez in October, filed a motion Tuesday to prevent investigators from removing a mobile home and storage container from Kibby’s property in Gorham, N.H.

Jesse Friedman, Kibby’s court-appointed lawyer, called for an expedited hearing Wednesday to preserve evidence in the case, which has drawn national media attention to the tiny resort town of Conway, N.H., where Hernandez went missing on a walk home from school Oct. 9, 2013.

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She mysteriously returned home last month, about nine months after her disappearance, and Kibby, 34, was arrested about one week later. He is facing a single charge of felony kidnapping and is being held on $1 million cash bail.

In his motion Tuesday, Friedman said prosecutors have given him only an eight-page arrest warrant and affidavit, as well as a one-sentence charging document, since his client’s arraignment July 29. He asked Judge Pamela Albee to order the state to preserve Kibby’s property and several other pieces of evidence for the defense team to review.

The attorney general’s office opposed the motion, saying they will work to protect evidence but keeping Kibby’s mobile home and the storage container on site is impractical. Federal and state authorities searched the trailer and the unit behind Kibby’s home for days after his arrest last week.

“The property cannot simply be left unattended,” the attorney general’s office wrote. Officials said they would need to station an officer in Kibby’s trailer park at all times to prevent onlookers and the media from trampling on the property.

They said the trailer and storage container will be moved to an undisclosed secure site, and investigators will give lawyers “photographs taken of the area as it existed at the time” Kibby allegedly “committed criminal acts on the property.”

He is charged with kidnapping Hernandez, 15, in Conway, but officials have not released information about where she was for the nine months she was missing.

Zachary Sampson can be reached at
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