Boathouse feud continues

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copyright the Chronicle July 12, 201


by Joseph Gresser


NEWPORT — Police say Herman J. Leblanc, 80, of Newport Center tore down a considerable chunk of a boathouse that has been the center of a nearly ten-year-old legal tangle involving his family and the next-door neighbor.

Mr. Leblanc pled innocent to a felony charge of unlawful mischief on June 19, and was ordered held on $75,000 bail by Judge Howard VanBenthuysen.

Judge VanBenthuysen released Mr. Leblanc after he posted bail and his son David Leblanc, agreed to take custody of his father. Herman Leblanc is no longer allowed to live in his Newport Center home on the shore of Lake Memphremagog. Instead, he’s at a rental property owned by his family, where he must stay unless accompanied by his son.

On Monday the Leblancs were back in the Criminal Division of Orleans County Superior Court where attorney Kyle Hatt sought to persuade the judge that requiring a person to be released to the custody of a responsible adult is more appropriate for cases where there is a threat to a person rather than to property.

Judge VanBenthuysen said he would consider the argument, but wanted to wait until Mr. Leblanc completes the competency examination he had already ordered.

State Police Sergeant Andrew Jensen filed an affidavit concerning the most recent charge. Robert Snelgrove, Mr. Leblanc’s neighbor, called police on June 16 and said his boathouse had been damaged.

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