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Lawyer: Drug suspect needs treatment ASAP

By Dean Shalhoup - Senior Staff Writer | Jan 4, 2018

NASHUA – The Dec. 30 arrest by police of Nashua resident Joshua Simard added two more drug-related charges to the 22-year-old Nashua man’s recent record, a situation that prompted his lawyer to ask for personal recognizance bail so Simard can get into treatment right away.

The PR bail would come with the provision that Simard “go immediately to a Safe Station and get the help he needs,” Attorney Justin Shepherd said Wednesday at Simard’s bail hearing in Hillsborough County Superior Court South.

If the judge, Charles Temple, opted to continue the $5,000 cash only bail on which Simard has been held since his arrest, Shepherd said his client “would get no help whatsoever” because he’d be sitting in Valley STreet jail.

“It makes a lot more sense that he gets the help he needs,” Shepherd added. “The best thing is to get him into Harbor Homes.”

Wednesday’s bail hearing followed Simard’s Tuesday arraignment on the Dec. 30 charges, which include one count each of possession of fentanyl, subsequent offense, and possession of crack cocaine, subsequent offense, both felonies, along with two misdemeanor counts of interfering with police.

According to the charges, Simard was convicted of drug-related offenses in 2015. The interfering with police charges accuse him of running from police and pulling away from them as they tried to arrest him around 5 p.m. Dec. 30 at his residence at 29 Temple St.

Because Simard had no lawyer present for Tuesday’s arraignment, not guilty pleas were entered on his behalf, and the presiding judge, Jacalyn Colburn, ordered an expedited bail hearing.

Simard asked Colburn on Tuesday if he could “wrap up” the case by accepting a two-year deferred jail sentence, but Colburn told him that wasn’t possible.

“You need a lawyer present … this cannot be wrapped up today,” she told Simard. He asked for personal recognizance bail, telling Colburn he’d been “having difficulty” since his arrest.

Colburn continued his bail, but told him she’d schedule his bail hearing for Wednesday and make sure his attorney is present.

Assistant County Attorney Cassie Devine said on Wednesday that Simard’s $5,000 cash bail should remain, given his string of arrests on drug-related allegations as well as his alleged failures to appear in court.

“He’s showed that he’s a scofflaw … he won’t do it,” Devine said, referring to the allegations that Simard has skipped court appearances.

On whether Simard might be a good candidate for Nashua’s Adult Drug Court, Devine said the possibility was once raised but went nowhere.

“That option is not on the table as far as I’m concerned,” she told Temple. “This is not a new case.”

Devine also noted that she’s the fourth prosecutor assigned to represent the state in Simard’s cases. She said it has been determined that his pending cases will now be assigned to Assistant County Attorney Kathleen Brown, who, Devine said, will determine whether Simard should be referred to Adult Drug Court.

In pondering Simard’s request for personal recognizance bail, Temple agreed with Shepherd that the young man needs help before it is too late.

While Temple modified Simard’s bail slightly – to $5,000 cash or surety – he said he would consider reducing it to personal recognizance when Simard is admitted to a drug treatment program.

“I think we’re in life-saving mode, due to the seriousness of these charges,” Temple told Simard. “It’s very clear your life is in danger.”

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


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