New information delays trial for suspended Plaistow detective
BRENTWOOD — A Plaistow police detective facing assault charges was given access to new information shortly after a jury was selected to sit on his trial, where it could change the course of his defense.
Judge Marguerite Wageling indicated she reversed a decision she made in April about whether detective George Wickson could access certain undisclosed records that she reviewed under court seal.
The records remain under seal and the nature of the information has not been publicly disclosed.
But the decision was significant enough for Wageling to issue a new order on the eve of the trial.
“Defense counsel indicated that the information/allegations within the documents may result in a change of defense tactic and that he needs to speak with witnesses and conduct further investigation,” Wageling said in a court order.
Wickson, 41, was expected to go on trial last Tuesday in Rockingham County Superior Court on charges of criminal threatening and simple assault.
Defense lawyer Brian Lavallee mentioned to Wageling about her decision regarding the sealed records, prompting her to reconsider and review the records again. Prosecutors objected to delaying the trial.
Wickson is accused of pointing a knife at the neck of a 22-year-old man on May 25 at the home of a former East Kingston police officer after his wedding, according to prosecutors.
The incident happened at the Newton home of Chad Larson, who resigned from East Kingston police after he was charged in a 2010 assault at Salisbury Beach, Mass. Those charges were ultimately resolved in 2012 when a Newburyport District Court judge agreed to continue the matter without a finding, according to reports.
Wickson allegedly groped a 21-year-old woman and later pushed her boyfriend, Travis Larson, toward a car while holding a knife to his throat saying, “Shut up or I’ll slice you,” according to court records. Newton police responded to a 911 call from the home, but Wickson allegedly left before police arrived.
Witnesses told state police that Wickson was a guest at the wedding and was intoxicated at the time of the assault, according to prosecutors.
The 21-year-old woman told police that Wickson was “very intoxicated, that he grabbed her buttocks while they were inside the residence and on numerous times put his arm around her and tried to kiss her and he also grabbed her hair,” prosecutors said in an affidavit.
Wickson also allegedly threw a beer can at Travis Larson’s sister after she confronted him about his behavior, prosecutors said.
Wickson faces up to 3½ to 7 years in state prison if he is convicted by a jury on the felony criminal threatening charge.
He is free on $10,000 personal recognizance bail. His trial is set to resume on Nov. 3.