MANCHESTER — Defense attorney Todd Russell Thursday sought to convince Circuit Court-Manchester District Division Judge William Lyons that the attempted first-degree murder charge against his client is based on a flawed identification.
Russell said Terrance Jackson's identification of Richard Scott, 33, as the man who shot him in the face July 26 is not to be trusted.
At a probable cause hearing Thursday, Russell called the 20-year-old victim a liar, saying Jackson is a drug dealer who gave police four or five different accounts of the shooting at 145 Orange St. and provided a description of the shooter that doesn't match his client, a Dorchester, Mass., resident.
Russell asked Lyons to find the prosecutor didn't present sufficient evidence to support sending an attempted first-degree murder to the Hillsborough County North Grand Jury.
But if Lyons should find probable cause, Russell said, he pleaded for a bail reduction from $300,000 cash/surety to $5,000, saying Scott's mother can only afford $500 for a bail bondsman.
Assistant Hillsborough County Attorney Brett Harpster argued that Jackson, who sustained a broken jaw in the shooting, not only described Scott accurately enough, but also picked his picture out of a six-photo array almost instanteously. "That bullet is still lodged in his body," said Harpster, who said Scott tried to shoot Jackson a second time, but the gun didn't fire.
A Manchester police officer testified Jackson admitted selling drugs. Jackson said he'd met Scott, who he knew as "Jay," in October 2012 and said Scott encouraged him broaden his product range beyond marijuana, to include such items as Percocet and Ecstasy.
After Scott shot him, Jackson told police, Scott searched Jackson's pockets and took $10,000 in cash he found there.
Detective Michael Lavallee said Jackson told police that when Scott entered the Orange Street apartment the morning of the shooting, he accused Jackson of texting him messages threatening him and his two sons, whose names and birth dates are tattooed on Scott's arm.
Jackson denied any knowledge of the messages, but said Scott continued to wave around the gun Jackson had sold him several weeks before and had tried to persuade Scott to return.
Russell said there were discrepancies in Jackson's description of the shooting, saying a friend of Jackson's who was in the apartment that morning denied seeing the shooter, saying she went into a bathroom after hearing someone knock at the door, fearing it was police. When she later heard the sound of a gun being cocked, she left the bathroom through a window.
Russell said it was only after receiving a phone call from a friend, that Jackson mentioned tattoos on Scott's arm for the first time. And even then, said Russell, Jackson specified the wrong arm and described a tattoo that didn't exist.
Russell said Detective Joseph Mucci relied on the word of an anonymous telephone caller, not a recognized confidential informant, to find Scott in Nashua Aug. 3.
Mucci responded: "It was very reliable because it led to his arrest." He said the information led police to a Cushing Avenue apartment where Scott and Scott's girlfriend, who acknowledged driving the vehicle described by Jackson, were found.
In his closing argument, Russell said: "Mr. Jackson's credibility is an issue." Saying Jackson told four or five versions of what happened, Russell said: "This is not a man to be trusted."
Harpster said the fact that Scott showed up at the Orange Street apartment at 6:20 a.m. with a gun showed premeditation.
But Russell sought to paint a picture of Scott as a solid citizen, saying Scott has lived in the same apartment in Dorchester, Mass., for 13 years, with his girlfriend and their two children, and had worked for a Stoneham, Mass., cleaning service for three to four years before his arrest. Russell said he wasn't familiar with Scott's criminal record.
Harpster said Scott's Massachusetts record shows 19 convictions, starting with armed robbery in 1997 and including a number of drug offenses, including distributing in a school zone.
Harpster asked that Scott's $300,000 cash/surety bail be maintained and that a hearing be held on the source of any funds offered for bail.
Lyons did not issue an immediate ruling, saying he was taking the matter under advisement.