A probable cause hearing was held yesterday in Keene district court in the case of State v James M. Phillips. Phillips stands accused of causing the hospitalization of Matthew “Yankee” Oldershaw after allegedly shoving or tackling him into the jagged granite which comprises the fountain in Central Square. During the hearing, sole witness Benjamin Nugent presented verbal accounts of his interactions with witnesses and analysis of video from the scene, including the only footage which partially captures the assault, as filmed by the currently incarcerated Free Keene blogger Rich Paul. Information presented which would normally be discounted as hearsay was admissible as Nugent recalled the statements of others collected over the course of his investigation into the incident. A public defender cross examined Nugent after direct examination from KPD prosecutor Jean Kilham.
A copy of the paperwork from the case reveals the bail conditions attached to the single charge of 2nd degree assault from the June 03 incident. An arrest warrant issued on July 11 was followed with instructions to not be present in Central Square, to have no contact with Matthew Oldershaw, and to refrain from the use of alcohol. A PR bail of $1000 was set on the day of the arrest.
Following yesterday’s hearing, judge Edward Burke found the state’s evidence sufficient to constitute probable cause for advancing the felony case to the superior court, where it will likely be heard before judge John Kissinger. Video from the hearing is available at Fr33manTVraw. Additional written coverage from the court by Martha Shanahan was published today in the Keene Sentinel.