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May 5, 2010

Manchester man escapes time in jail

Resident in 'Armageddon' gun case gets 4-year continuance

MANCHESTER — A Manchester man who reportedly told police he was preparing for Armageddon and martial law with an arsenal of weapons in his Bridge Street condo in February avoided jail time Wednesday after having charges in the case continued without a finding in Salem District Court.

Gregory Girard, 45, of 23B Bridge St., had charges of discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling and two counts of illegal possession of silencers continued without a finding for four years by Judge Richard Mori.

Carrie Kimball Monahan, spokeswoman for Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett's office, said Wednesday that, as part of the conditions of his release, Girard must undergo a mental health evaluation and treatment by a psychiatrist — including in-patient treatment as deemed necessary.

He must also continue to take proper medication, and surrender all weapons and military gear taken upon his arrest. He also has one week to surrender or provide proof of sale of the two firearms that are still missing, Kimball Monahan added.

Girard was arrested Feb. 9 after his estranged wife accused him of preparing for martial law with an arsenal of weapons in their home. The arrest was heavily publicized after police pulled a collection of 11 rifles and two handguns, thousands of rounds of ammunition, as well as other weapons and military-style gear from his home.

Manchester Police Chief Glenn McKiel said Girard had told police he was preparing for "Armageddon" and feared martial law would be imposed soon.

In March, prosecutors dropped a majority of the charges against Girard, but Mori said he still considered Girard to be a "danger to the community" and ordered him still held without bail.

Girard held a class A firearms license and all of the guns were legally registered. Girard was charged, however, with illegally possessing so-called "infernal machines," five items originally described as "grenades."

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