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Teen charged in shooting gets prison

Nashuan pleads guilty to two lesser charges for 5-10 year sentence

By Dean Shalhoup - Senior Staff Writer | Dec 19, 2017

Staff file photo by Dean Shalhoup Police officers lead a department K-9 dog down Ash Street while investigating the November 2016 shooting of two people in the area. Christian Dominguez was later arrested and charged.

NASHUA – Prosecutors in the case of Christian Dominguez, the Nashua teen who pleaded guilty Monday to two felony charges stemming from a 2016 shooting in downtown Nashua, told the judge that a lack of response from the victims led them to drop the most serious charge of attempted murder.

Dominguez, 18, was indicted earlier this year on the Class A “extended term” felony offense and three other charges, which stem from a confrontation around 7 a.m. Nov. 16, 2016 on Ash Street near Lake Street.

Although Assistant County Attorneys Cassie Devine and Leslie Gill, who prosecuted the case, made the decision to drop the attempted murder charge, they were able to reach a plea agreement that calls for a 5-10 year State Prison sentence, which Judge Charles Temple later described as “appropriate” given Dominguez’s age and his nearly clean criminal record.

Dominguez agreed to enter guilty pleas to one count of first-degree assault, a Class A felony, and one count of falsifying physical evidence, a Class B felony, according to the agreement.

Staff file photo by Dean Shalhoup Nashua police patrol officers and detectives confer at the corner of Lake and Ash streets in November 2016 while investigating the shooting of two people, for which Nashua resident Christian Dominguez was later arrested.

The prison sentence is tied to the first-degree assault charge. Dominguez was given credit for the 398 days he’s spent in jail, bringing his minimum sentence to just under four years.

On the falsifying physical evidence charge, Dominguez was sentenced to 3 1/2-7 years in State Prison, all suspended for five years from the time he is released.

He cannot have any contact with the two victims, and must participate in educational, counseling or other programs as recommended by prison officials.

Devine told Judge Charles Temple that prosecutors would likely have pursued the attempted murder charge had the victims responded to their calls.

“They weren’t really responsive to us, at all,” she said. “Had they showed any interest in speaking with us, we wouldn’t have dropped the charge.”

Staff photo by Dean Shalhoup Christian Dominguez, who was sentenced to 5-10 years in prison Monday in connection with a 2016 shooting in Nashua, stands at the defense table with his attorneys, Liza Mone, left, and Jeffrey Odlund.

The victims, a 24-year-old man and his 23-year-old girlfriend, had driven from Derry that morning to meet with Dominguez to purchase drugs, according to court documents.

The woman had recently told the man that she suspected Dominguez of stealing $800 from her in the recent past, Devine indicated in her synopsis.

When they met up with Dominguez, who they knew as “Danny,” the man asked about the money, at which time Dominguez turned to leave. But he returned to the car the couple was in, and reportedly raised a handgun, fired into the vehicle “and shot the victim at point blank range,” Devine said in court documents.

She said the round passed through the man’s arm and lodged in the chest area, but the injury wasn’t considered life-threatening. The woman reported being grazed when the round ricocheted.

Police received a series of 911 calls just after 7 a.m., and upon arrival spoke with several witnesses who said they’d heard a gunshot or gunshots.

Staff photo by Dean Shalhoup Christian Dominguez looks around the courtroom before the start of his plea and sentencing hearing Monday. He pleaded guilty to two charges stemming from a November 2016 shooting in Nashua.

One woman said she saw a person matching Dominguez’s description running down the street.

One of the several officers who responded reported seeing a man picking up items from the ground that turned out to be shell casings, according to Devine.

Attorney Liza Mone, who represented Dominguez with Attorney Jeff Odlund, told Temple that Dominguez has the support of his family, and noted that the process of coming to the plea agreement was facilitated by the parties’ participation in settlement conferences.

“I find that consdering Mr. Dominguez’s age, his lack of any real (criminal) history and the nature of the victim input, this is an appropriate sentence,” Temple said in accepting the agreement.

He encouraged Dominguez to take advantage of prison programs to better himself. “My hope for you is to live a productive life when you get out.

“My hope is this is the beginning – and the end – of your criminal career.”

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-1256, dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_DeanS.


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