BREAKING NEWS: Lebanon church fire was arson and suspect stabbed two people Sunday evening

Submitted 2 years ago
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Eric Francis

Parolee with long record was just arrested in Vermont last month on a slate of kiddie porn charges

LEBANON, NH - Wednesday night's church fire was just one of a series of arsons believed to be committed by a Lebanon man who stabbed two people at the Boulders Condominiums on Sunday evening as police were searching for him.

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    Anthony Boisvert, 27, a parolee with a criminal record that spans multiple states, was arrested late Sunday evening near his home on Tannery Lane, which sits just across the Mascoma River from Mechanic Street at the edge of downtown Lebanon.

    Lebanon Police said Monday that Boisvert is their suspect in Wednesday night's blaze which destroyed the 150-year-old First Baptist Church on School Street and they now believe that less than an hour after that fire began Boisvert started another fire in the basement of an apartment house at 68 Mascoma Street, which is just up the street from Alice Peck Day Hospital.

    Firefighters arriving at that address, just minutes after midnight on the morning of Thursday December 29th, found that a couch had been deliberately set on fire in the common basement area of the apartment house but an automatic sprinkler system had already extinguished it.

    Working with investigators from the New Hampshire Fire Marshal who determined that the church had also been torched, detectives in Lebanon developed Boisvert as their suspect and began looking for him over the weekend but "determined that he had fled the area," Lebanon Police Chief Richard Mello reported.

    On Sunday night, shortly after 9 p.m., Lebanon Public Safety Dispatchers received a 911 call reporting that two people had each just been stabbed multiple times in an apartment at the Boulders Condominium Complex at 20 Wolf Road.

    Police arrived to find a 52-year-old man and 66-year-old woman had been seriously injured and both victims were able to identify Anthony Boisvert as their attacker, saying he had just fled the area on foot, police recounted.  Both victims are currently hospitalized at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center but at this point their injuries are not believed to be life threatening, police said.

    Lebanon Police Officer Jeremy Perkins and his canine `Max' led the search at the Boulders and a "Tactical Containment Team" was called out and put on standby.  

    An hour later, Lebanon Police Sgt. Jeff Perkins spotted Boisvert walking down Tannery Lane toward his residence and took him into custody without further incident.

    Police said that during their investigation they also came to believe that Boisvert was responsible for another arson that occurred a year ago, on January 16, 2016, which destroyed an abandoned home on Hanover Street Extension near the Comcast service center building that overlooks Interstate 89.

    While the investigation is on-going and further charges are possible, police are currently preparing to charge Boisvert with two counts of first degree felony assault and three felony counts of arson when he appears in Lebanon District Court on Tuesday.  

Lebanon Police Department Photo

    Boisvert was just arrested in White River Junction last month on a warrant that had been outstanding since 2012 charging him with a dozen counts of possession of child pornography.  Those charges stem from a June, 2011 incident in which a desk clerk at the Super 8 Motel called Hartford Police and reported that Boisvert, who was staying at the motel that evening, had been down in the lobby using a computer there that was provided for guests and viewing a series of kiddie porn images from a website.

    Hartford Police Officer Eric Clifford wrote in an affidavit filed with the court that when police went to Boisvert's room and confronted him about the allegations he initially denied them but police then found Boisvert had printed out images matching those on the computer of underaged girls and hidden them under his mattress when police knocked on the door.  Officer Clifford said that Boisvert allegedly confessed that he'd been viewing those types of pornographic images "since he was twelve."

    Boisvert was not arrested on the spot but as the investigation continued and the computer was examined at the state crime lab a warrant was eventually issued for his arrest in October 2012 and went unserved until December 2016 when Hartford Police came across Boisvert as a passenger in a routine traffic stop.

    During his arraignment in the courthouse in downtown White River Junction last month as his wife and his mother sat in the benches watching the proceeding, Boisvert argued through a public defender that he was not a flight risk because he had recently been placed on parole in New Hampshire and his wife is expecting a baby later this month.

    Windsor County Deputy State's Attorney Ward Goodenough pointed out to the court that Boisvert's record of burglary and drug arrests also includes convictions for a felony escape in New Hampshire in 2013 and a bail jumping in 2009 as well as a burglary in South Carolina and arrests in Massachusetts.

See the original story "Lebanon Church Engulfed by Fire" at:

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