Greenland man weapons trial coming
BRENTWOOD — A trial date has been set on weapons charges for a Greenland man who allegedly vowed to shoot at police before going back to jail.
Joshua Nieves, 26, is charged with five counts of being a felon in possession of a weapon. He goes on trial the week of Aug. 5 in Rockingham County Superior Court.
He is expected to appear in court again on July 27 for a final pretrial hearing, essentially the final day he can strike a plea deal with county prosecutors.
So far, no pretrial challenges have been made regarding the charges.
Nieves was barred from owning any weapons because of a 2004 robbery conviction, according to indictments.
He was arrested Aug. 16, 2012, at the Gosling Meadows apartment complex in Portsmouth. His arrest came a day after police were tipped off about his weapons collection and statements he allegedly made supporting the gunman who killed Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney last year.
Police found a 9 mm handgun and a modified version of one that was converted to a MAC-11 — a subcompact machine pistol, according to prosecutors.
The tipster was a man who was arrested for theft by Newington police, according to police. He was dating Nieves’ former girlfriend and told investigators on Aug. 15, 2012, that Nieves had a MAC-11 and a 9 mm handgun, according to court documents.
Greenland Police Chief Tara Laurent said in a sworn affidavit that Nieves had told a friend he would “shoot before going back to jail” and that he believed Cullen Mutrie, the man who killed Maloney last year, “should have shot more officers.”
Mutrie shot and killed Maloney while he and members of the Drug Task Force attempted to execute a search warrant at his home.
Nieves was also indicted on three counts of violating the controlled drug act for allegedly possessing Clonazepam, Lorazepam and marijuana at the time of his arrest. Aside from firearms charges, Nieves also faces an additional felon in possession charge for having a blackjack on him when he was taken into custody, according to police.
Nieves is being held at the Rockingham County jail on $100,000 bail.