Accused Nashua shooter expected to take plea dealBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
December 17. 2017 8:36PM
NASHUA — Under a negotiated plea deal being reviewed next week, a man accused of shooting a person during a drug transaction last year in the Gate City will serve five to 10 years in prison.
According to newly filed court documents, Christian Dominguez, 18, has filed a notice of intent to plead guilty to first-degree assault and falsifying physical evidence in connection with the Nov. 16, 2016 shooting.
Dominguez, who was 17 at the time of the offense, was originally facing a charge of attempted murder for the shooting, which carries a possible sentence up to life in prison.
A plea and sentencing hearing will take place today at Hillsborough County Superior Court where Judge Charles Temple will decide whether to accept the fully negotiated plea deal. The terms of the deal include five to 10 years in prison for the first-degree assault charge, with 60 days suspended if there are no major disciplinary infractions.
If accepted by the judge, Dominguez will also be sentenced to a suspended term of up to seven years in prison for the falsifying physical evidence charge; separate charges of attempted murder and reckless conduct will be dropped under the negotiated plea deal, states court records.
Dominguez is accused of shooting Justin Cole, 23, during a drug transaction in the fall of 2016 in the area of Ash and Lake Streets.
According to court documents, Dominguez “purposely attempted to cause the death of (Cole) by shooting him with a firearm,” and “constituted a substantial step toward the commission of the crime of murder.”
He is also accused of causing bodily injury to Cole and placing others in danger by firing a gun at a vehicle occupied by Cole and his girlfriend.
If the plea deal is not accepted, Dominguez has filed a notice of self-defense claiming that any force he used on Cole was for the purpose of defending himself against what he believed to be the imminent use of unlawful, deadly force against him by Cole, says court records.
Catherine Devine, assistant county attorney, is objecting to Dominguez’s notice of self-defense.
“There is no evidence in discovery which would support defendant’s claim. After making a drug deal defendant turned away from the victim and then returned, drew his firearm and shot the victim at point blank range,” wrote Devine, arguing Dominguez has failed to state any grounds that would support his claim of self defense.
Meanwhile, Dominguez has filed motions to suppress statements he made to authorities, and to suppress physical evidence.