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Man guilty of simple assault in case involving police standoff, threatening of girlfriend

Marc Mallard, accused of initiating a police standoff last year after he threatened to kill his girlfriend and their child, has been found guilty of eight charges, each carrying a possible 2 to 5 year sentence. But the jury verdict came only after a Merrimack County Superior Court judge dismissed the one felony Mallard was facing, deciding that the prosecutor hadn’t proven the Concord man tried to strangle his then-3-year-old daughter during the April 29, 2012, incident.

Prosecutor Wayne Coull said at the opening of the trial Tuesday that 30-year-old Mallard threw a “temper tantrum” when he attacked his girlfriend and their child, all because he felt the woman had disrespected him. Mallard was accused of flicking a cigarette in the woman’s face, then giving her a head start to escape before slamming her into a wall as she held their child.

When the police responded to the residence, Mallard refused to let them in and claimed to have a gun, though a firearm was never found, Coull said. The police said the standoff lasted more than two hours before Mallard was taken into custody.

A jury Thursday found Mallard not guilty of resisting arrest, though, and also acquitted him on charges of criminally threatening his daughter and endangering the welfare of a child. The eight misdemeanors he was found guilty of include several counts of simple assault against the woman and his daughter, obstructing government administration and false imprisonment.

Each of those counts carry an enhanced sentencing penalty, either related to the age of the child or the fact that Mallard was on bail at the time of the incident, Coull said.

Mallard’s attorney, Ted Barnes, said he plans to argue against some of those enhanced penalties at Mallard’s sentencing, which has not yet been scheduled, because the reckless conduct charge he was on bail for was ultimately dropped. He also said Mallard plans to appeal the verdict because he believes some of the evidence elicited during the trial should not have been presented to a jury. He declined to elaborate.

Barnes had filed a motion to dismiss the felony second-degree assault charge, arguing there was no proof Mallard strangled the girl, an act that requires prosecutors to show the victim’s breathing was impeded in some way.

At the opening of the trial, Barnes also argued that Mallard’s actions were a product of fear over how he, as “a black man in this kind of a domestic situation,” would be treated by the police. He accused the police of not treating Mallard fairly, saying the charges against him were repetitive.

Mallard has two other cases pending against him in relation to his treatment of the woman in this case.

In one, he is facing two counts of second-degree assault after the police said he attacked his girlfriend on multiple occasions and choked her until she could not breathe. In the second case, Mallard is accused of making hundreds of attempts at contacting the woman while he was incarcerated, hoping to persuade her not to cooperate with prosecutors.

Mallard was extremely persistent, making repeated phone calls from jail, sending letters to her through two inmates and asking both his mother and two other individuals to contact her between April 2012 and December 2012, according to the indictments.

Barnes said Mallard denies making any effort to pressure the woman.

(Tricia L. Nadolny can be reached at 369-3306 or or on Twitter @tricia_nadolny.)

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