New Hampshire farmer wins early release after gun sentence.

A New Hampshire farmer who became a folk hero to…

A New Hampshire farmer who became a folk hero to gun rights activists after he was imprisoned for brandishing a handgun at a trespasser on his property won early release Wednesday.

The New Hampshire Executive Council voted unanimously to free Ward Bird, just two months into his three-year sentence.

His wife, Ginny, said he would come home to “lots of tears, lots of hugs and a big celebration.”

Bird, 49, of Moultonborough, had sought a full pardon to clear his name. The council voted in his favor, but Gov. John Lynch vetoed the pardon, saying the judicial system had given Bird’s case a thorough review and he would not undermine that. The council then immediately voted to commute his sentence, and Lynch let that vote stand.

Bird’s felony conviction for criminal threatening with a firearm remains on his record. He can no longer possess guns.

Corrections officials said Bird will be released from the Carroll County jail as soon as they have the official paperwork in hand, even if it’s after the close of business hours.

Bird was convicted of criminal threatening with a firearm after the March 2006 encounter with Christine Harris at his remote home on a Moultonborough hilltop. The crime carries a minimum, mandatory three-year prison sentence because a weapon was involved.

He did not testify at his trial in 2008. The first time he testified under oath about the incident was at Tuesday’s pardon hearing.

Source: Lynne Tuohy for for the Associated Press.

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  • borgie

    Here is another story and another state in the east making a criminal out of a citizen who defends his life and property with a gun.

    The governor apparently was never in the same situation that this farmer and homeowner was. It is a shame when politicians make criminals out of citizens and have no respect for our Constitution and the meaning of the 2nd Amendment.

    The best part of the country IMHO is fly-over country in the heart of the mid-west, especially the mid-south and states that enacted concealed carry and the castle law years ago.

    Taking away the rights of gun ownership is something that should only be reserved for criminals and street thugs. Oh! I forgot, they already don’t have any right to be armed – how is that working out for honest citizens?

  • cc19

    “The crime carries a minimum, mandatory three-year prison sentence because a weapon was involved.”

    To quote the Marines in Aliens upon disarmament, “What are we supposed to use man, harsh language?”

  • List of Castle Doctine States from wikepedia…New Hampshire is “considering” the law.

    Adoption by StatesAs of the 28th of May, 2010, 31 States have some form of Castle Doctrine and/or Stand Your Ground law. Alabama,[9] Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island,[10] South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah,[11] West Virginia and Wyoming have adopted Castle Doctrine statutes, and other states (Montana, Nebraska,[12] New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington) are currently considering “Stand Your Ground” laws of their own.[13][14][15]

  • Time for a new governor. Apparently there is no Castle Doctrine in effect in New Hampshire.