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Charges dropped against activist who disrupted 2021 Executive Council meeting

Terese Grinnell testifies Wednesday in support of a bill that would launch an audit of the 2020 election.
Todd Bookman
/
NHPR
Terese Grinnell Bastarache has espoused pandemic-related misinformation and anti-government conspiracy theories at protests and in public testimony at the State House. Here, she was testifying in support of a bill that would have launched an audit of the 2020 election.

Prosecutors have dropped charges against an anti-vaccine activist just before her trial was set to begin in Concord District Court Tuesday morning.

Terese Grinnell Bastarache, a Loudon resident who has worked as a nurse, was charged with disrupting an October 2021 Executive Council meeting where officials were discussing a $27 million federal grant to help administer COVID-19 vaccines. Court documents allege Basterache yelled “amen” during the October 2021 meeting. Eight other anti-vaccine protesters were also arrested.

Department of Safety Public Information Officer Tyler Dumont said the state opted not to move forward with the charges “because the prosecution did not believe they could prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.” The department did not answer additional questions from NHPR about that decision and its timing.

On Monday, Concord District Court Judge Ryan C. Guptill blocked a subpoena from Bastarache's lawyer requesting Gov. Chris Sununu's testimony in the trial, the New Hampshire Union Leader reported. The judge deemed the governor’s testimony unnecessary and criticized the “exceedingly late service” of the subpoena

Bastarache has espoused pandemic-related misinformation and anti-government conspiracy theories at protests and in public testimony at the State House. She is also a leader in We the People NH, a far-right activist group.

Basterache and her supporters gathered outside the courthouse Tuesday morning to celebrate the case’s conclusion. She said she intends to pursue legal action against the state.

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