Milford arson conviction stands Supreme Court rejects Colleen Carr’s appeal

CONCORD – The New Hampshire Supreme Court has turned down the appeal of a Mont Vernon woman who was convicted of conspiring to burn down a Milford Oval building she owned for insurance money and tampering with witnesses.

In 2013, Colleen Carr, 52, was sentenced to 24 months in the Hillsborough County Department of Corrections on the conspiracy charge and one of the two witness tampering charges, and additional year on the second witness tampering charge, although all were deferred on condition of good behavior and other stipulations.

She appealed the conviction, arguing that Superior Court Judge Jacalyn Colburn erred by failing to dismiss the criminal solicitation indictment, declining to give the jury two of her requested instructions, and denying her motion to dismiss the second witness tampering conviction on double jeopardy grounds.

The Supreme Court, in a ruling handed down Tuesday, Jan. 13, rejected all three arguments on legal grounds.

According to court documents, in 2012, Carr, a former real estate agent, owned the building at 139 Union Square, on the river side of the Oval, when she faced financial difficulties. The building was occupied by her mother’s business, P.C. Carr Realty, by Colleen Carr and a boyfriend on the second floor, and by a tenant on the third floor.

Court documents say Carr discussed with her boyfriend and the tenant the possibility of burning down the building to collect $403,000 in insurance. They went to police, who tapped Carr’s phone and arrested her on Jan. 18.

Carr sold the building in September of that year for $150,000, according to court documents.

She maintained her innocence even after the conviction on Dec. 8, 2013.

“I didn’t do this. I am not guilty,” she had said as she gathered with family members and defense attorney William Keefe outside the courtroom after the conviction.