By James Baker, Portsmouth Bureau Chief
Foster's Daily Democrat, Friday, April 16, 2004
HAMPTON - A local woman arrested last month for inflicting fatal injuries on her 85-year-old sister waived her probable cause hearing Thursday in Hampton District Court.
The case against Helen Garland, 74, will now be transferred to Rockingham County Superior Court, where a grand jury will hear state's evidence and determine whether to indict Garland.
She was arraigned March 27 in Hampton District Court on three counts of first-degree assault and ordered incarcerated in the Hillsborough County House of Corrections in lieu of $25,000 cash or surety bond.
On Thursday, New Hampshire Public Defender Dorothy Graham petitioned Judge Francis J. Frasier to reduce Garland's bail to personal recognizance.
Graham, who argued that Garland has long-standing ties to the community and is no danger to the general public, said her client has limited financial resources despite owning her own home outright, and would be hard pressed to post bail.
"If not personal recognizance, I would ask the court to execute an agreement under which she would forfeit her property," Graham said.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Michael Delaney said the "horrific" aspects of the case leave the state obligated to request cash bail.
Delaney said Garland kicked and struck her sister, Alice Keyho, on March 21 at Garland's home at 10 Philbrook Terrace, then left Keyho dead at the base of the stairwell for two days before contacting authorities.
"She lied to the police when she suggested her sister must have fallen down the stairs, because the medical examiner's office has confirmed that the victim suffered postmortem bruising that indicates she was moved to the stairwell," he said, noting that police uncovered blood evidence throughout the house.
Delaney then described in graphic detail the extent of Keyho's injuries, which included 22 broken ribs, brain hemorrhaging, two black eyes, lacerations on her chest, back, and lips, and diamond-shaped defensive marks on her arms consistent with a diamond ring worn by Garland.
In conclusion, Delaney said he found it difficult to understand how someone who owns a home, a car, and a number of valuable collectibles would not be able to post bail.
At that point, Frasier briefly took the matter under advisement before reducing Garland's bail to $10,000 cash or surety bond.
If convicted, Garland could face an enhanced sentence of 10 to 30 years in prison on each count.
The state is also considering upgrading the charges against Garland depending on the result of toxicology tests by the medical examiner's office.
© 2004 Geo. J. Foster Company