NASHUA — The mother charged with manslaughter in the beating death of her 2-year-old son could possibly avoid trial if she accepts a plea deal now being offered by prosecutors.
According to court documents, a plea deal has been presented to Unique S. Gould, 21, of 8 Ash Court, who is accused of repeatedly hitting Devon Gould, 2, causing a catastrophic brain injury and subsequent death.
As of Monday, Gould had not accepted the plea agreement, according to court records. Specifics about the plea deal are not being publicized, and court documents do not indicate what the state is offering the woman who has been free on bail since August.
Additional documents were sealed last week at Hillsborough County Superior Court, where Gould is facing charges of manslaughter, first- and second-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child for the April 25 assault at her Nashua home.
Without a deal, Gould could face between 20 and 40 years in prison for the manslaughter charge, which does not take into account the additional felony charges.
During a dispositional conference hearing last month, Judge Diane Nicolosi scheduled jury selection for April 7, 2014, with Gould’s trial planned to begin on April 10, 2014, according to court records.
Police allege that Gould repeatedly hit Devon on the buttocks and head on April 25. After the child went to sleep shortly thereafter, he slept for up to 20 hours before Gould placed him in the shower and shook him in an attempt to wake the toddler, according to prosecutors.
Gould eventually called 911, but only after roommates and family members said they would call themselves if Gould didn’t take action, according to prior court testimony.
Following the boy’s hospitalization, Gould was interviewed by two detectives, at which time she allegedly acknowledged spanking her son on April 25, according to court documents.
“She admitted that she struck (him) numerous times on his buttocks, and confirmed that she also struck him in the head with her hand. Gould made admissions that she ‘blacked out’ at one point, and admitted to hitting (him) very hard,” according to a police affidavit filed by Det. Marc Anderson.
Police have refused to comment on whether Gould may have been impaired at the time of the alleged assault.
Devon was placed on life support following the attack, and ultimately died two weeks later, family members previously told the New Hampshire Union Leader.
Gould has been free on bail since August, and has been ordered to have no contact with any children or the boy’s father, Christopher Parr of Berlin.
Gould’s public defense attorney, Anthony Sculimbrene, previously described this as a “very sad case.” In a prior statement, Sculimbrene said his client asserts her innocence.
Meanwhile, Karinne Brobst, assistant Hillsborough County Attorney, said that if Gould is convicted of any of the charges against her, the state intends to seek an extended term of imprisonment, according to court documents.