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Second accused in June kidnapping pleads guilty, gets 2-to-5 years

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Garrett Pehowic of Rochester is escorted out of Strafford County Superior Court by a Sheriff's Deputy during his June arraignment at Strafford County Superior Court. (Rochester Voice file photo)

DOVER - The second of three men accused in a bizarre June kidnapping that began over accusations of stealing drug money was sentenced on Thursday in Strafford County Superior Court to a lengthy prison stay.

Garrett Pehowic, 21, of 17B Knight St., was sentenced to two to five years on a felony kidnapping charge and three and a half to seven years on a second degree assault charge, which will run consecutively and be suspended upon his release from prison for five years, Deputy County Attorney Tim Sullivan said on Thursday.

Pehowic will be credited with 240 days of pretrial confinement.

Also accused in the kidnapping and assault of the 21-year-old Rochester victim were Dylan Madore, 22, of 58A Chestnut St., and Anthony M. Smith, 23, of 193 Pleasant St, Laconia.

Police first became involved in the incident around 6:15 p.m. on June 13 after a 911 call reported an adult being kidnapped. At the time, it was stated that a 21-year-old male had been abducted and beaten by three people. The call stated the male was then forced into a vehicle, but was able to break a window and escape.

At least one of the suspects, Madore, was friends with the victim, but on the day of the kidnapping when the two met up to "hang out" at Madore's residence, he accused the victim of stealing $4,000, according to a police affidavit filed soon after the arrest.

Moments later Pehowic and Smith, whom the victim also recognized, came up from behind him and began punching him in the face and all over his body, the affidavit states.

At some point Smith allegedly began choking the victim, which was corroborated by marks a responding officer found on his throat.

The victim, in an effort to show he was innocent, said he'd take them to a local bank ATM and his own residence to show them he didn't have the money, so all four got in Smith's gold Cadillac and drove to check the account balances.

After they saw the money wasn't there, however, instead of heading to the victim's home they headed down Highland Street toward East Rochester and the Maine border.

The victim said he then became increasing worried for his well-being and tried to unlock the door, prompting Madore to grab him and pull him back. It was during this time that they said they were going to kill him in Maine, the victim alleges in the affidavit.

As he became increasingly worried for his safety, the victim again tried to reach for the door as they were approaching the border. As Madore, who was sitting in the back seat behind the driver, pulled him back again, the victim said he was able to kick out the rear door window, break free and jump out of the window to freedom.

The three did not pursue him, and the victim said he could hear Smith say, "Let him go" as the car drove off.

The victim called police from the Eastside Cumberland Farms. He was later taken to Frisbie Memorial Hospital with what were described as nonlife threatening injuries.

The victim also told police that Madore was a drug dealer who sold marijuana and cocaine, which would account for him having large amounts of money at his residence. Police executed a search warrant and found quantities of both drugs in his apartment.

Madore, 22, was sentenced late last month to at least six years in state prison for his part in the kidnapping.

Smith is scheduled for his plea and sentencing on March 12.

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