Former Democratic leader Jeffrey Woodburn won’t have to start serving jail time yet, despite convictions for criminal mischief stemming from allegations of domestic violence.
The one-time state Senate Minority Leader from Coös County plans to appeal his criminal mischief sentence while preparing for a new domestic violence trial. In March, the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled he did not get a fair trial the first time and reversed the domestic violence convictions but let the criminal mischief charges stand.
Last week, Coös Superior Court Judge Peter Bornstein gave Woodburn until July 14 to file his sentence appeal for the criminal mischief charges. The new domestic violence trial is set for next spring.
Woodburn was originally sentenced to two years in jail with all but 60 days suspended.
Woodburn allegedly bit his then-girlfriend during a brawl after a Christmas party in 2017. Days later, he allegedly kicked the door to the woman’s house when she refused to let him inside. Earlier that year, in August 2017, he reportedly kicked her clothes drying, breaking the appliance, according to court records.
Woodburn has been fighting the charges for years, becoming a recurring headline for state Democrats. Woodburn was formally charged in August 2018 but still ran for reelection in the face of calls for his resignation. He won the Democratic primary but lost in the general election that year.
Woodburn’s appearance in the news again as he fights the convictions coincides with news stories of other New Hampshire Democrats linked to violence against women.
Former State Rep. Stacie Laughton (D-Nashua) ended up in jail for weeks after the 2022 midterm elections on charges of stalking a woman and her family. State Democrats, desperate to edge out the House GOP’s razor-thin majority, stayed silent about Laughton for nearly a month. Democratic leaders only called for Laughton’s resignation when it became clear they would not have the majority with or without the Nashua seat.
Democratic U.S. Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen burned political capital backing President Joe Biden’s judicial nomination of lawyer Michael Delaney. Sexual assault victims, including Chessy Prout, opposed Delaney. Prout was a 15-year-old sexual assault victim who sued the elite St. Paul’s private school in Concord. Delaney, who represented the school, used his expertise in court to strip the teen girl of her anonymity.
Delaney’s nomination was finally torpedoed in May after weeks of heavy criticism from victims and advocates, but not before Hassan and Shaheen endorsed him.