Former New Hampshire Police Officer Turns Down Plea Offer. Trial Is Scheduled.
Former Claremont, New Hampshire police sergeant Ian Kibbe is charged with counts of conspiracy to commit perjury and attempt perjury, and two counts of falsification and obstructing government administration. The charges stem from an alleged illegal search and falsifying his report. Kibbe was offered a plea that was not made public, and he turned it down. Judge Brian Tucker scheduled jury selection for Kibbe’s trial to start on December 3, 2018. Trial is anticipated to last two days.
The 30-year old Kibbe was arrested in April after an investigation by the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office. He was released on a $5,000 cash bail.
Kibbe’s partner, Mark Burch, was also investigated. Burch had been on the force for less than a year. Their employment with the Claremont police force ended in March. Claremont Police Captain Brent Wilmont, Chase Police Captain Alex Lee, and New Hampshire State Trooper Eric Fosterling took part in reporting that Kibbe and Burch might have engaged in criminal conduct. Trooper Fosterling is a former police office in Claremont.
On February 24, 2018, Fosterling assisted Kibbe and Burch in the arrest of Christopher Ratcliffe after a report that he had violated an order of protection. Fosterling said he had concerns about the arrest and the subsequent search of Ratcliffe’s bedroom. He said he believed Kibbe and Burch unlawfully seized items from Ratcliffe’s room. After Fosterling read the officer’s reports, he found it inconsistent with what actually happened. Mainly, Fosterling did not see any of the things in Ratcliffe’s room that Kibbe and Burch reported seeing in plain view.
The 14 page supporting affidavit for issuance of an arrest warrant for Kibbe is intense. It outlines the basis for the two felony and four misdemeanor charges against Kibbe. If Trooper Fosterling was not honorable, Christopher Ratcliffe would have faced false charges with absolutely no defense other than his word. Because of the investigation, all but one of Ratcliffe’s charges were dismissed. Valley News has more detail.
The Claremont Police Department has since thrown out at least 20 arrest cases that involved Kibbe and Burch. According to The Recorder, the attorney general’s office said Burch hasn’t been charged, but remains under investigation.
In 2016, Kibbe was involved in the fatal shooting of 25-year old Cody LaFont. It was determined to be legally justified but now, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office plans on reviewing that incident. The Union Leader reports that Lafont’s mother, Tracy McEachern, stated;
“My biggest issue with Cody’s case, is the amount of time Claremont PD was on the scene before the N.H. Crime Unit was called. …There are two individuals involved, and one can’t speak. Do I believe Kibbe’s account, no!!!”
McEachern added she is glad to know Kibbe is no longer on the streets as a police officer.