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  • Staff photo by BOB HAMMERSTROM


    With tears dripping off his face, Nicholas Voight of Merrimack listens to his sentence Friday, April 27, 2012, stemming from his part in a violent mistaken-identity home invasion last year, where a group of men targeted the wrong address where Max Rousseau was beaten, stabbed and hit by a car outside his home.


  • Staff photo by BOB HAMMERSTROM


    Seated in the courtroom and holding the hand of a victim's advocate, Max Rousseau listens to a statement Friday, April 27, 2012, read by one of the men responsible for his beating (Nicholas Voight) during Voight's sentencing for his part in a violent mistaken-identity home invasion last year, where a group of men targeted the wrong address where Max Rousseau was beaten, stabbed and hit by a car outside his home.


  • Staff photo by BOB HAMMERSTROM


    With tears streaming down his face, Nicholas Voight of Merrimack apologizes to Max Rousseau after reading a statement during his sentencing Friday, April 27, 2012, in Hillsborough County Superior Court stemming from his part in a violent mistaken-identity home invasion last year, where a group of men targeted the wrong address where Max Rousseau was beaten, stabbed and hit by a car outside his home.


  • Staff photo by BOB HAMMERSTROM


    Nicholas Voight of Merrimack
  • Staff photo by BOB HAMMERSTROM


    Family and friends of Nicholas Voight listen to Judge Colburn during his sentencing Friday, April 27, 2012, in Hillsborough County Superior Court.
Saturday, April 28, 2012

Man sentenced to 4-10 years in mistaken identity Nashua attack

NASHUA – The fifth and final suspect in a mistaken-identity home invasion is on his way to join his accomplices in state prison.

A Hillsborough County Superior Court judge sentenced Nicholas Voight to four to 10 years in prison Friday in connection to a 2011 incident in which a group of men mistakenly attacked a Nashua man at his Broad Street apartment.

Voight, 19, was convicted in February of conspiracy to commit first degree assault, among other charges.

In her sentencing, Judge Jacalyn Colburn provided some reprieve, offering to suspend the final two years of Voight’s sentence in exchange for his participation in public service.

“We are at a crossroads with you, Mr. Voight,” Colburn said as she issued the sentence Friday morning, in the Nashua courtroom.

“You are either going to be molded into the person you told me you want to be, or you’re going to continue down the path you’re on,” she said. “I hope you make the right choice.”

Over the hour-long sentencing, the defense and prosecution painted conflicting pictures of Voight, who drove the four other men Jan. 2, 2011 to the Ledge Street apartment, where they attacked and stabbed Max Rousseau in a case of mistaken identity.

The group, led by Hector Rodriguez, had intended to attack Jesus “Stretch” Cortes for a conflict dating back to their time in juvenile lock-up. But Voight gave the wrong address, and the men ended up beating and stabbing Rousseau as he left his apartment unit.

Rousseau suffered stab wounds to the stomach and back, as well as other injuries when he was struck by the group’s vehicle in the parking lot outside the building.

“I am forced to take things day by day and live my life different than I did before,” Leslie Gill, an assistant Hillsborough County attorney recited before the court, reading a letter written by Rousseau.

“I feel like I am a dead man on vacation,” Gill read, while Rousseau sat in the court bench, choking back tears.

Voight, his defense attorney and his family members all described the 19-year-old as a naive and confused teenager who didn’t know the men had planned an assault the night he drove them.

“If I knew there was a knife, I would not be sitting here today. I’m not that kind of person,” Voight said, sobbing uncontrollably.

“I realize Nicholas made some bad decisions. He’s like a little boy in a man’s body,” his mother, Laura Mink, told the court, arguing for a suspended sentence. “He doesn’t always think before he acts.”

The prosecution countered the argument, painting Voight as a knowing and purposeful participant in the attack.

“Nicholas Voight stands at the very center of the conspiracy,” Catherine M. Devine, an assistant Hillsborough County attorney, told the court.

“He provided transportation to and from the scene, knowing that a crime was going to occur,” Devine said, arguing for a four-to-10 year sentence. “But for Mr. Voight, Max Rousseau…would have gone to work (that day).”

Following a 10-minute recess, Colburn issued her ruling, which fell somewhere between the two sides.

She agreed to the prosecution’s request sentence of four to 10 years in prison, adding an additional sentence of two to four years for his conviction on a conspiracy to commit burglary charge.

But, Colburn also introduced the suspension clause, offering to release Voight after the minimum two years if he develops and executes a plan to speak to youth and civic groups about his experiences.

“I want to give you some hope,” Colburn said as Voight prepared to leave the courtroom. “Maybe, just maybe, after you pay your penance for your role in this, you can do some good. …You can turn this thing around if you so choose.”

Jake Berry can be reached at 594-6402 or jberry@nashuatelegraph.com.