Back in court, Breer seeks to recover evidence
By Eric Blaisdell
STAFF WRITER | January 04,2014
BARRE — Convicted kidnapper Harley Breer Jr. was back in court this week looking to preserve evidence he feels will help his defense against his latest charges.
Breer, 43, is representing himself in Washington County criminal court in Barre, where he faces numerous charges including sexual assault, domestic assault and burglary. He was convicted in 1999 in a high-profile kidnapping case and spent eight years in prison.
Breer is being held without bail at the prison in Springfield. He is accused of beating and raping a woman with whom he lived in November 2011. He allegedly stole her car and went on the run before being found in New Hampshire.
In court Monday, Breer pleaded innocent to 19 counts of violating his conditions of release by writing to the woman he is alleged to have raped and beaten in 2011. He was to have been arraigned on the charges in August but invoked a provision in state law that allows a defendant to have 24 hours to review the charges before entering a plea. Breer said he had the information for only 10 minutes before being asked to make a plea.
According to the Vermont State Police affidavit for the newest charges, Breer wrote 51 letters from Jan. 17, 2012, until March 28, 2012, to his accuser and her friends, family and ex-husband, all with the intention that the information in the letters would get to the woman. Breer had been ordered earlier in January 2012 not to have contact with her.
The court time Monday was also used to address some of the motions Breer has filed in his case. Between Breer and the state, around 80 motions have been filed in connection with the current charges against Breer.
Breer is seeking the telephone records of a landline he and the woman used when the two lived together in Woodbury from June to November 2011. He said the phone records are relevant because they will show whom he and the woman were contacting and being contacted by during the time when some of the alleged incidents took place.
Judge Thomas Zonay said he would take the matter under advisement.
Breer is also seeking around 40 text messages sent between the woman and Vermont State Police Detective Aimee Nolan, an investigating officer in the case, from Dec. 22 until Dec. 29 in 2011.
State’s Attorney Tom Kelly said a forensic examiner with the Vermont State Police examined the phone Nolan was using in 2011 and didn’t find the text messages Breer was seeking. Kelly said there may have been text messages but that there is no record of them now.
Breer called Nolan to the stand to testify.
Nolan said she had been texting the woman during the course of the investigation. She said “in today’s day and age,” it’s standard procedure to exchange text messages with witnesses. Nolan acknowledged the text messages were subject to the discovery process for possible use as evidence but didn’t catalog or retain the messages because she didn’t know she had to.
Nolan said the text messages from the woman concerned the letters Breer was sending to her. The letters were used as evidence in the 19 charges Breer pleaded to Monday.
“It was just informing me of things that were happening throughout the investigation,” Nolan said.