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Kidnapping suspect seeks to block home removal

Nathaniel Kibby, 34, was escorted to his arraignment last month.

CHARLES KRUPA/ASSOCIATED PRESS, FILE

Nathaniel Kibby, 34, was escorted to his arraignment last month.

The defense attorney for the New Hampshire man accused of kidnapping teenager Abigail Hernandez asked a judge Wednesday to block prosecutors from removing his 22-year-old home and a shipping container from a mobile home park in Gorham.

“This is his home!’’ an impassioned defense attorney Jesse Friedman said of his client, Nathaniel E. Kibby. “The state is waving it around as if it’s a tangible good that they can pick up and whisk away. This is this man’s home!’’

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Judge Pamela Albee took the request under advisement in Conway District Court in New Hampshire.

Friedman also said Wednesday that since his client’s arrest last month, he has only received nine pages from the New Hampshire attorney general’s office outlining the felony kidnapping charge Kibby faces.

Friedman said that he cannot properly defend his client if he does not know what forensic evidence prosecutors have collected — and he will not be able to conduct his own tests if his client’s property, including his mobile home, is spirited away by law enforcement.

“The evidence in this case is the scene,’’ Friedman said. “It’s not just the house; it’s not just the trailer.’’

Assistant Attorney General Jane Young said the request to remove the trailer was driven by two broad factors: to preserve the evidence for use by the prosecution and the defense, and to save taxpayers money they would have to spend to post a police officer on the property 24 hours a day.

Young said that if law enforcement does not protect the structures, she fears someone will damage them, given what she called the “macabre level of interest’’ in the Hernandez kidnapping story.

Young also released a couple of small details about what authorities have found during the search of Kibby’s property, especially the red shipping container that has sparked speculation about its role in the disappearance of the teenager.

The container is divided into three sections, Young revealed in court.

She said the middle section “takes up the bulk of the container.” She told the judge that “the court is aware of” the third section of the container, but she would not go into details about that section because the investigation is ongoing.

Kibby, 34, was charged last month with snatching 14-year-old Abigail Hernandez on Oct. 9, 2013.

She returned home last month, and Kibby was arrested about a week later. He is facing one charge of felony kidnapping and is being held on $1 million cash bail.

Martin Finucane of the Globe staff contributed to this report. John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.
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