Trial delayed for Epping man charged with shooting romantic rivalBy JAMES A. KIMBLE
Union Leader Correspondent
May 23. 2013 8:01PM
BRENTWOOD – A judge delayed the trial of an Epping man charged with shooting a romantic rival with a shotgun because the woman at the center of the case failed to appear to testify.
Judge N. William Delker ordered that the trial for Tyler Locascio, 25, charged with second-degree assault, be reset for the week of Sept. 9 in Rockingham County Superior Court.
The decision came prior to a jury being selected Monday once prosecutors raised concerns about Jackie Letourneau’s failure to appear.
Assistant county attorney Jerome Blanchard told Delker at a hearing Monday that Letourneau was served in hand with a subpoena, but she couldn’t be located at her home by police prior to her expected testimony.
Delker granted a request to issue a material witness warrant, but Letourneau appeared at the courthouse later in the day, according to prosecutors. Delker then ordered Letourneau to appear for a final pre-trial hearing before being called to testify as a state witness.
Locascio is accused of shooting Shawn Eaton of Epping the night of Dec. 11, 2011, after the two exchanged a series of heated text messages, according to prosecutors.
The confrontation was set off because the two men were dating the same woman, according to Blanchard.
“She was dating the victim and the defendant at the same time and was the impetus as to why the whole thing was happening,” Blanchard said at an earlier court hearing.
Prosecutors are expected at trial to use a variety of phone records obtained by Epping police.
Investigators executed two search warrants for Locascio’s phone records and learned that phone activity among the three people was “going crazy” an hour before and after the shooting, according to Blanchard.
Defense lawyer Andrew Cotrupi argued that Epping police had gone outside the scope of the warrant when they reviewed all exchanges on his client’s phones. Delker disagreed with that argument.
Delker had granted a request by prosecutors last month to deem Letourneau a hostile witness at trial.
Blanchard indicated during a prior court hearing that Letourneau has made it clear that she has no intention of helping the state with its case.
Locascio remains free on bail.