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Prosecutors seek to have part of police chase video excluded as evidence in trooper's trial

Union Leader Correspondent

August 20. 2017 11:16PM
Prosecutors are asking that only the footage from the time a May 2016 police chase passes Main Street in Nashua — up to the conclusion of Richard Simone’s arrest — be viewed during the upcoming trial of a Massachusetts state trooper. (REUTERS)

NASHUA — Prosecutors are asking to have portions of a police chase caught on video excluded from the trial of a Massachusetts state trooper accused of beating a man during a Nashua traffic stop.

Trooper Joseph Flynn, who previously filed a motion to dismiss two enhanced misdemeanor charges of simple assault by an on-duty police officer for the alleged offense, is set to face trial on Oct. 2.

As both sides prepare for trial, attorney Alexander Scott of the Criminal Justice Bureau has filed a motion seeking to exclude portions of video evidence from the motor vehicle pursuit.

Several news outlets recorded the chase from Holden, Mass., to Brigham Street in Nashua where the alleged assaults took place.

Scott is asking that only the video footage from the time the chase passes Main Street in Nashua — up to the conclusion of Richard Simone’s arrest — be viewed during trial, according to court documents on file at Hillsborough County Superior Court.

All of the video footage from the chase beginning in Holden and extending into downtown Nashua should be excluded, Scott argues in court records submitted this week.

“While the video evidence of the pursuit shows (Simone) actively fleeing from police, it does not make it more probable or less probable that he had not surrendered at the time of his arrest. Nor does it make it more probable or less probable that he was prepared to fight or flee,” maintains Scott, adding it would be a waste of time and prejudicial to the victim to unveil all of the lengthy video footage.

Scott alleges in newly filed court documents that after Simone was on his hands and knees surrendering, Flynn punched him in the head and then the back.

“These punches fully proned the victim on the ground and the defendant continued to punch the victim approximately four or five times before standing up and repositioning himself to the victim’s left side. The defendant then punched the victim three more times,” states court records.

If all of the video footage of the chase is shown at trial, Scott contends that the evidence would be unfairly prejudicial since its primary purpose would be to “appeal to a jury’s sympathies, arouse its sense of horror, provoke its instinct to punish or trigger other mainsprings of human action that may cause a jury to base its decision on something other than established propositions in the case.”

Flynn’s defense team argues in court records that Flynn was justified in using non-deadly force against Simone to defend himself and fellow police officers, and to prevent Simone from escaping.

A former state trooper from New Hampshire, Andrew Monaco, was also involved in the incident and previously pleaded guilty and received a suspended jail term and agreed to never seek a job in law enforcement under a negotiated plea deal.

Flynn, however, is fighting the charges.

His attorney claims in court documents that Flynn “reflexively rushed” and only began striking Simone after Monaco lunged and hit Simone first.

Jury selection for Flynn’s trial was originally set for July 5, but has been postponed until October.

Courts Crime Nashua

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