Man pleads guilty, sentenced to prison for attempt to gouge eye of Lebanon police officerBy John Koziol
Union Leader Correspondent
July 12. 2018 11:49PM
NORTH HAVERHILL — A man who attempted to gouge out a Lebanon police officer’s eye while resisting arrest pleaded guilty on Thursday to two counts of simple assault, enhanced penalty, and was sentenced to between 2 1/2 to 5 years in New Hampshire State Prison.
Shawn M. Mooney, 30, whose last known address was in Stoddard, changed his plea from not guilty to guilty and was later sentenced by Grafton County Superior Court Judge Lawrence MacLeod.
Although misdemeanors, the assaults carried an enhanced penalty because the victim was a police officer, MacLeod said.
Viktoriya Kovalenko, an assistant Grafton County attorney, told MacLeod that had Mooney’s case gone to trial the state would have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that on Feb. 22, 2018, at about 10:15 a.m., Mooney was a passenger in a car parked at the Walmart on Plainfield Road in Lebanon.
Because he had observed the car previously and noticed that neither it nor its two passengers had moved during the time he was there, Lebanon police Cpl. Michael Roberts approached the vehicle, and saw in Mooney’s coat pocket a red glass pipe used to smoke marijuana.
Mooney gave Roberts a false name and when Roberts attempted to arrest Mooney, Mooney struck him in the face several times and also made several attempts to gouge out his right eye, said Kovalenko.
Mooney was able to break away from Roberts and fled into a swamp behind the Walmart, where he was later captured.
Roberts suffered a cut lip and a red and irritated eye, Kovalenko said, adding that in addition to video from the officer’s body camera, a witness was ready to testify in support of the state’s version of the attack.
At the time of Mooney’s arrest, he was wanted on outstanding warrants for aggravated felonious sexual assault and a probation violation, both out of Hillsborough County Superior Court North.
When asked, Kovalenko told MacLeod that Roberts supported the state’s sentencing recommendation, which includes an identical 2 1/2 to 5 years in prison on the second charge, all of it suspended for seven years.