Lawyer says Nashua mother charged in child's death recanted confessionBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
December 06. 2013 6:55PM
NASHUA — A local mother charged with manslaughter in the beating death of her 2-year-old son allegedly recanted her confession to a city police officer, telling him that someone else was responsible for the crime.
Unique S. Gould, 21, of 8 Ash Court, is accused of repeatedly hitting Devon Gould, 2, causing a catastrophic brain injury and hisd subsequent death earlier this year.
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.
Initially, Gould "admitted that she struck (Devon) 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 (Devon) very hard," said a police affidavit written by Detective Marc Anderson.
Gould's defense attorney, Anthony Sculimbrene, filed a motion last month in Hillsborough County Superior Court claiming that Gould eventually recanted her confession to police shortly after her arrest.
"After her arraignment in district court, Ms. Gould collapsed in grief. The judge had informed her, in a roundabout way, that her son may die. This was the first time she had heard this information and she was overcome with grief," wrote Sculimbrene. "On her way back down to the holding cell, Ms. Gould told Officer Michael Welch that she had not injured her son, but was covering up for someone else. She then described a bit of what had really happened, recanting her Mirandized confession."
Sculimbrene went on to say that very little of the interaction between Gould and Welch was documented. In addition, the defense claims that Detective Anderson told Gould that if she demonstrated how she hit her son, it would not get her into trouble, according to court documents.
The defense team has since been granted a request to depose the medical examiner and Anderson.
According to court documents, Gould is reserving her right to use the defense that Devon's injuries were an accident. Sculimbrene mentioned that if the case goes to trial, evidence may be presented that reveals the boy accidentally hit his head on an end table or other piece of furniture while Gould lawfully disciplined the child, says court records.
A plea deal has been presented to Gould, but as of this week, Gould had not accepted the plea agreement. Specifics about the plea deal are not public, and court documents do not indicate what the state is offering the woman who has been free on bail since August.
She will be back in court on Feb. 10 for a status conference. Her trial has been tentatively scheduled for April 10.