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Attorneys seek access to mental health records of witness in murder trial

Union Leader Correspondent

December 06. 2017 12:19AM
Quade Cadle, center, is pictured in Grafton County Superior Court last year. (UNION LEADER FILE)

HAVERHILL — Lawyers for the man who allegedly lured Robert Pierog to his death on May 27, 2016, in Littleton want a judge to consider whether his trial should be delayed.

In addition to their request for a status conference, attorneys Steve Mirkin and Adam Hescock, in documents recently filed in Grafton County Superior Court on behalf of Quade Kadle, are asking the court to grant access to the mental health records of Daniel Soto, whom they identify as the state’s “key witness.”

Kadle, 20, of Jefferson, is scheduled to go on trial in February on charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, but his trial, like that of alleged triggerman Damion Yeargle, 22, of Littleton, is likely to be delayed.

According to Mirkin and Hescock, both trials revolve around Soto’s mental health records and, to date, Justice Lawrence MacLeod has yet to issue an order on Yeargle’s Sept. 15 motion for a review of those documents to be conducted privately in the judge’s chamber.

The motion raises questions about Soto’s “competency and credibility” in light of his being hospitalized for several weeks in September at the New Hampshire Hospital and for an earlier emergency admission in a facility in Littleton.

Earlier this year, Nicholas Skidmore, 22, of Littleton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder, telling the court that on the night of Pierog’s death he drove Kadle and Yeargle to Yeargle’s house where Yeargle retrieved a .22 caliber rifle.

He then drove both men to the Walmart in Littleton where they purchased bandanas and plastic gloves and then took them to Pierog’s apartment and drove them away from there after the shooting.

During Skidmore’s plea hearing, the state said Soto had been with Pierog before the shooting and that both he and Pierog exited the residence when Kadle came to the door saying Skidmore needed a place to spend the night.

Shortly thereafter, the state said, Soto observed a man he knew to be Yeargle fire a rifle multiple times at Pierog.

The murder was “in retaliation” for Pierog having been a confidential informant for the Bethlehem Police Department, according to Assistant Attorney General Geoffrey Ward.

Skidmore, who is expected to also be a state witness against Yeargle and Kadle, will serve but has not yet been sentenced to a term of between 13 and 30 years in the New Hampshire State Prison, with five years deferred for 10 years on the conspiracy to commit murder charge.

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