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Defense seeks delay in Hanover shooting trial

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 10/21/2019 10:05:43 PM
Modified: 10/21/2019 10:05:39 PM

NORTH HAVERHILL — The defense attorney for a 23-year-old Lebanon man who prosecutors say randomly shot and wounded a Massachusetts man near the Dartmouth College campus last fall is seeking to have his trial delayed until next month.

Grafton Superior Court Judge Lawrence MacLeod as of 4 p.m. Monday had yet to rule on the motion to continue Gage Young’s trial, which his attorney, Richard Guerriero, filed earlier in the day. Meanwhile, several motions are still pending, including whether a jailhouse statement Young may have made to another inmate is admissible.

Young had been scheduled to face a jury on Monday, but late last week, the court appearance was changed to a hearing on pending motions in the case. Young, who remains held without bail, appeared in a suit alongside his attorney in Grafton Superior Court on Monday. After that hearing, Guerriero filed the motion to continue the trial; it’s unclear why he hopes to delay it until Nov. 5.

Young is accused of shooting and wounding Thomas Elliott, a Providence College freshman who was visiting a friend at Dartmouth, from a passing car on School Street in Hanover on Nov. 2, 2018. Young has pleaded not guilty, and his defense contends the Lebanon juvenile who was with Young, Hector Correa, fired the shot that struck Elliott in his lower back. Police have said Correa, who was 17 at the time, was driving the car.

MacLeod heard arguments from the defense and prosecution on several of the pending motions on Monday, including a defense motion to bar testimony from an inmate at the Grafton County jail.

Fellow inmate Tony Greenwood told police that Young informed him that he fired the gun on Nov. 2 and then went to his family’s West Lebanon home and changed his clothes, Assistant Grafton County Attorney Mariana Pastore said in court.

That information is reliable and is “incredibly important” to the case, and thus should be allowed into evidence at trial, Pastore said. Young’s father, David Young, a former Lebanon police officer, then unwittingly brought the clothes that his son had been wearing during the alleged shooting to the Lebanon police station for him to change into when officers seized the clothes he was arrested in, Pastore said.

“That to the state says that he went home to his father’s house, changed out of his clothes and purposefully left them there,” Pastore said. “His father had the misfortune of bringing them to the Lebanon Police Department that night.”

The clothes his father brought to the station were later seized at the jail, Pastore said. The prosecutor — who also mentioned “GSR,” shorthand for gunshot residue, when discussing the topic in court on Monday — says surveillance footage at trial will show that Young was wearing those clothes at a gas station prior to the shooting.

Guerriero objected to allowing Greenwood’s statements at trial, saying the fact that Young changed his clothes after the shooting “isn’t incriminating.” Guerriero contends Greenwood, who faces charges related to domestic violence, isn’t a reliable source and has the incentive to say something to get a favorable result in his own court case.

Guerriero alleges the Grafton County Attorney’s Office violated the rules of professional conduct when Greenwood was interviewed, which gave rise to a separate motion on the same topic. A defense attorney should have been present with Greenwood but wasn’t, and the interview should have been recorded, Guerriero asserted.

“They are basically saying ‘take our word for it,’ ” he said.

A third motion that the parties addressed Monday pertained to Correa, who has since turned 18. The defense seeks to admit evidence of a firearm-related offense Correa is charged with in Connecticut, an incident that occurred after the Hanover shooting. But Guerriero said he doesn’t want the state to be able to introduce “hearsay” statements Correa told local police, including that Young was the shooter.

If the judge allows information about Correa’s out-of-state case, prosecutors should be given the opportunity to bring up statements Correa made to police regarding who the shooter was, Pastore said.

Jordan Cuddemi can be reached at jcuddemi@vnews.com or 603-727-328.

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