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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Accused trooper files plan

By DEAN SHALHOUP
Staff Writer

NASHUA - An attorney for the Massachusetts state trooper charged in the May assault of a suspect in Nashua insists his client's use of force was justified, and notified the state Wednesday that it must prove the trooper acted "knowingly" in order to convict him of simple assault.

Trooper Joseph H. Flynn V, 32, of Tewksbury, Mass., was indicted in September on two counts of enhanced-penalty simple assault for his role in the May 11 beating of an unarmed suspect following a two-state police pursuit. ...

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NASHUA - An attorney for the Massachusetts state trooper charged in the May assault of a suspect in Nashua insists his client's use of force was justified, and notified the state Wednesday that it must prove the trooper acted "knowingly" in order to convict him of simple assault.

Trooper Joseph H. Flynn V, 32, of Tewksbury, Mass., was indicted in September on two counts of enhanced-penalty simple assault for his role in the May 11 beating of an unarmed suspect following a two-state police pursuit.

Attorney Ronald J. Caron, who began representing Flynn last week, filed a three-page notice of defense Wednesday in which he addresses each element of the simple-assault statute, according to the documents in Flynn's file at Hillsborough County Superior Court South.

"The state is hereby placed on notice of its statutory and constitutional obligation to prove beyond a reasonable doubt all requisite elements of the offense of simple assault," Caron wrote.

Flynn last week pleaded not guilty to the charges and waived his Superior Court arraignment, which had been scheduled for Friday in the Nashua court.

He has been free on $2,000 personal recognizance bail since he turned himself in to Nashua police on July 19. The bail order - which stipulates that Flynn must continue living at his Tewksbury home and have no contact with the alleged victim, Richard Simone - was continued upon Flynn's waiver of arraignment.

Flynn was one of two law enforcement officers charged with assaulting Simone in the moments following a 50-mile high-speed pursuit that began near Worcester, Mass., and concluded on a small dead-end street in Nashua's Fairmount Heights neighborhood.

The other officer - former New Hampshire State Trooper Andrew Monaco - pleaded guilty in August to three counts of simple assault as part of an agreement that includes a suspended 12-month jail term.

Monaco also agreed to perform community service, undergo anger management counseling and never work in law enforcement again.

In his court filing, Caron, Flynn's lawyer, addresses the accusations that Flynn engaged in "unprivileged physical contact" against Simone, by striking him above his waist moments after Simone exited his vehicle and appeared to be surrendering to police.

Caron argues "a matter of law" that states "conduct which is justifiable constitutes a defense to any offense." Because Flynn was on duty as a police officer at the time, according to Caron, he was therefore "justified in the use of non-deadly force" to prevent Simone from fleeing or escaping, to defend himself and other officers from "imminent threat," and to effect Simone's arrest.

While the charge of simple assault is typically a Class A misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 12 months in county jail, rather than state prison, Flynn's charges are classified as "enhanced misdemeanors" because he was on duty at the time of the incident.

If convicted, Flynn could serve up to two to five years in state prison on each of the charges.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-6443, dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_DeanS.