‘Hesitant’ defendant prompts judge to halt sentencing hearing

Staff photo by Dean Shalhoup Massachusetts resident Corey Moody, currently held at Valley Street jail on drug-related charges, enters Superior Court Wednesday morning for a plea and sentencing hearing, which the judge would continue to next week because he felt Moody wasn't sure about the agreement. His attorney, Nicholas Howie, is at right.

NASHUA – Corey Moody, one of three people picked up during a Nashua police Operation Granite Hammer drug sweep in May 2017, was in court Wednesday prepared to enter a plea agreement when the judge said he felt he should halt the proceeding and resume another day.

“You’re hesitant … I want you to be sure about this. I want you to be comfortable with it,” Superior Court Judge Charles Temple told the 28-year-old Moody, a resident of Dorchester, Massachusetts, who has been incarcerated since his arrest more than 14 months ago.

It was following Moody’s roughly five-minute side discussion with his attorney, Nicholas Howie, that Temple told Moody he seemed confused and unsure of some of the wording in the negotiated plea agreement.

Temple thus ordered a halt to the hearing, telling the parties it would resume at 1:30 p.m. July 18, giving Moody and his attorney ample time to review the agreement.

“I’m not comfortable going ahead with this hearing today,” Temple said, telling Moody, “you’ve got to be 100 percent” sure.

The terms of the agreement as presented Wednesday call for Moody to enter guilty pleas to three felony charges alleging the possession of, and intent to sell, heroin and cocaine, and possessing Suboxone, in exchange for two and a half to five years in State Prison, stand committed, and two, five to 10-year prison sentences, both suspended upon his release on the first sentence.

He is to receive credit for time already served in jail, which as of Wednesday came to 407 days, according to the agreement.

That would leave Moody a little more than half his minimum sentence to serve.

Assistant County Attorney Cassie Devine said police arrested Moody following an investigation that included undercover officers or police informants arranging drug buys with Moody.

They took him into custody after stopping the vehicle he was in. While searching him, Devine said, police discovered 19 grams of heroin and 10 grams of cocaine in his possession, along with 28 Suboxone sublingual strips, which police found hidden in a cast Moody was wearing on one of his legs.