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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Nashua mother wants to take back confession in case of deceased baby

NASHUA – A Nashua mother charged with killing her 2-year-old son eight months ago said she not only recanted her confession to police, but also named a man for whom she said she tried to cover after her emotional arraignment last year.

Unique Gould, 22, formerly of 8 Ash St., broke down during her first court appearance in April after learning from a prosecutor that her son might die, according to motions filed at Hillsborough County Superior Court last month. She blurted to a Nashua detective that she hadn’t hit her son and that a man she knows had hurt him, according to the motions. ...

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NASHUA – A Nashua mother charged with killing her 2-year-old son eight months ago said she not only recanted her confession to police, but also named a man for whom she said she tried to cover after her emotional arraignment last year.

Unique Gould, 22, formerly of 8 Ash St., broke down during her first court appearance in April after learning from a prosecutor that her son might die, according to motions filed at Hillsborough County Superior Court last month. She blurted to a Nashua detective that she hadn’t hit her son and that a man she knows had hurt him, according to the motions.

One of Gould’s attorneys, public defender Anthony Sculimbrene, argued in the motion that Gould’s comments should be admitted at trial because they constitute an “excited utterance,” which is an exception to rules barring hearsay, according to the motion.

New Hampshire case law says, “Underlying the excited utterance exception is ‘the theory that a condition of excitement temporarily stills the capacity of reflection, thereby producing utterances free of conscious fabrication,” Sculimbrene wrote – essentially
arguing that Gould was too distraught for her claims to be a product of a planned attempt to mislead police.

Sculimbrene argued that Gould’s statements should be admitted, which opens the door to her recanting her confession to police.

Nashua police said in May that Gould admitted to striking her son, Devon Gould Parr, on the buttocks and head on April 25.

Gould was separated from her son and family after she was arrested, and she learned for the first time during her arraignment on April 29 that the boy might die when Nashua police attorney Evie King told a judge the boy “might not make it,”
according to Sculimbrene’s motion.

Devon later died in a hospital.

After hearing that news, Gould became “obviously and audibly distressed” and cried throughout the rest of the hearing.

Shortly after the hearing, she made the comments to detectives that she hadn’t hit her son, according to the motion.

Gould is charged with manslaughter, which carries a 20- to 40-year prison sentence. She was released on $10,000 bail in August after spending several weeks in jail on $100,000 cash bail, according to court documents.

Gould’s attorneys have also filed motions indicating they will argue that if Gould did strike her son, her actions were legal because she was disciplining him in a reasonable way protected by state law.

The law – physical force by persons with special responsibilities – allows parents and guardians to use force “to the extent that he reasonably believes it necessary to prevent or punish such minor’s misconduct.”

Specifically, Gould may argue she was legally disciplining her son and that he accidentally hit his head on an “end table or other piece of furniture nearby,” according to court records.

Devon survived in the hospital for several days before being taken off a respirator.

Gould’s trial is scheduled to begin in April. The court hasn’t scheduled a hearing on the latest motions filed in the case.

Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415 or jcote@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Cote on Twitter (@Telegraph_JoeC).