County prosecutors have dropped all felony charges against a Winchester man whom police accused earlier this year of threatening to shoot several people near his home on Verry Brook Road.
Michael Vorce, 33, was arrested June 9 in an operation that drew a heavy police presence. He was charged with criminal threatening with a deadly weapon, reckless conduct with a deadly weapon and possessing a deadly weapon as a felon.
Prosecutors have dropped those charges, however, according to a notice filed Aug. 26 in Cheshire County Superior Court by Deputy County Attorney Kathleen G. O’Reilly. She said in the notice that prosecutors don’t have sufficient evidence to pursue felony charges. Vorce will instead face a misdemeanor-level charge of criminal threatening.
Neither O’Reilly nor Vorce’s attorney, Keene-based public defender Morgan Taggart-Hampton, could be immediately reached Thursday for more information.
The charges against Vorce stemmed from an incident police said occurred earlier on the evening of his arrest.
In an affidavit filed in court, Winchester police Sgt. Kris Fox said Vorce had gotten into an argument with Isaiah Kristolaitis, who lives nearby, as Kristolaitis tried to put his dog in his car.
Vorce then went to his home at 105 Verry Brook Road and returned to Kristolaitis’ property with a semi-automatic pistol, threatening to shoot Kristolaitis and five other neighbors, according to the affidavit. The five neighbors, all of whom are Kristolaitis’ relatives, submitted written statements to police claiming Vorce threatened them with the gun.
Winchester police arrested Vorce later that night after finding a pistol bullet near his front door, according to Fox’s affidavit.
N.H. State Police and tactical and special-weapons units from the Keene Police Department assisted with his arrest, Winchester police Lt. James Fisher said at the time. That operation included using a state police negotiator and Keene police’s BearCat armored vehicle, which Fisher said Winchester police requested after determining Vorce posed a threat to people in the area.
In 2009, Vorce was convicted in Cheshire County Superior Court of first-degree assault, a felony, according to court filings in a separate case last year.
He was charged in last year’s case with possessing a deadly weapon as a felon after a U.S. marshal found a loaded crossbow and a knife in his bedroom while searching his home. However, prosecutors dropped that charge shortly after Vorce’s attorney claimed officers took Vorce into custody without informing him of his rights.