BRENTWOOD, N.H. — A judge has denied the latest request to reconsider bail for a Massachusetts state trooper from Groveland charged with assaulting his girlfriend last winter in Exeter.
Sgt. Bryan Erickson, 38, remains off the job and held without bail in a New Hampshire jail, according to court records.
Erickson’s defense attorney Hank Brennan on Wednesday requested a hearing to reconsider bail “based on changed circumstances.”
The alleged victim the case, a 29-year-old woman, did not appear at a May 4 hearing to extend a restraining order, and the restraining order was subsequently dismissed, Brennan wrote in a motion asking for the bail reconsideration.
Brennan wrote the woman “did not appear at the hearing to defend her statements or explain her inconsistencies and contradictions.”
A lawyer representing the woman said she did not appear “based on the emotional strain the hearing would produce…,” Brennan wrote in the motion.
Judge Martin Honigberg denied the request Wednesday, saying Brennan’s motion did not address “changes in the circumstances” that were the basis for Erickson to be held without bail.
Brennan has appealed Erickson’s original no-bail order to the Supreme Judicial Court. That court has yet to rule on the case.
A November trial date is expected, with Erikson’s strategy at trial being “self-defense,” Brennan said previously.
Erickson, a trooper for 10 years and a former Marine, was charged after an incident involving the woman on Jan. 31.
He has been indicted and arraigned on charges of second-degree assault for domestic violence, criminal restraint and domestic violence kidnapping, according to court paperwork.
Following jury selection, the trial is expected to last six to eight days. Brennan has said he expects to call least 15 witnesses at trial.
A police affidavit says that during an argument Jan. 31, Erickson took his girlfriend’s cellphone and threw her on a bed. He “wrapped her arms around her on the bed and knelt on her upper thigh area so that she could barely breathe and could not move” and “put his hand on her neck and one of his fingers down her throat” to stop her from screaming, according to the affidavit.
Erickson is also accused of head-butting the woman twice, according to court papers.
Police said they responded to a 911 hang-up call at a house in Exeter and found Erickson in the garage. Police said he drove away at about 80 mph. Erickson was arrested at his home in Groveland.
Previously, during a bail hearing, Brennan argued that Erickson could be released on bail with conditions, including GPS monitoring, if the court felt that was necessary. Brennan also said Erickson could rent a place to live in New Hampshire, under supervision, and seek counseling possibly through the Veterans Administration or another service.
Brennan also argued that investigators did not provide photos showing the victim suffered marks from a beating, but rather just “light scratches” on the woman’s hands.
He also previously described the girlfriend as being angry because she and Erickson had broken up.
Erickson’s wife applied for a harassment prevention order against the girlfriend in October 2020 after an incident at the family’s Groveland home, according to court documents. The couple has two small children, the documents say.
The woman showed up at the home at 12:55 a.m., demanding to speak with Erickson’s wife and asking to show her something on her phone, according to a report the wife filed with Groveland police.
The wife told the woman, who appeared to have been drinking, to leave the property, according to court records. Groveland police allowed the woman to call someone for a ride and for someone to drive her vehicle home, the records say.
Erickson has been suspended indefinitely from the state police following a duty status hearing.
Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill.