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Judge rules that jurors will see most video evidence at state trooper's trial

By KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent

September 26. 2017 9:13PM
Prosecutors are asking that only the footage from the time a May 2016 police chase passes Main Street in Nashua — up to the conclusion of Richard Simone's arrest — be viewed during the upcoming trial of a Massachusetts state trooper. (REUTERS)



JOSEPH FLYNN

NASHUA — With jury selection set for Monday, a judge has ruled that most of the video footage leading up to and including the alleged beating of a man by a Massachusetts state trooper will be shown to the jury.

Joseph Flynn will face trial next week for the May 11, 2016, arrest of Richard Simone during a Nashua traffic stop. Flynn is accused of punching Simone in the head and the back after Simone was allegedly on his hands and knees surrendering — an arrest that was caught on camera by several news outlets.

Flynn, 32, of North Tewksbury, Mass., is facing two enhanced misdemeanor charges of simple assault by an on-duty police officer. He is currently on paid leave with the Massachusetts State Police, and is facing a possible prison sentence of two to five years for each offense.

On Tuesday, Judge Charles Temple of Hillsborough County Superior Court ruled in favor of the defense by allowing most of the video footage of the police chase leading up to the arrest to be viewed by the jury.

Although prosecutors only wanted a portion of the video revealed — the point from Main Street in Nashua to the arrest and alleged assault on Brigham Street — Temple ruled that video footage from Hudson should be shown to the jury.

“This footage from the pursuit in Hudson shows important things that the post-Main Street footage does not. For instance, it shows that Mr. Simone continued to flee from the police even after one officer attempted a so-called pit maneuver,” wrote Temple. “It also shows Mr. Simone driving significantly more recklessly than he does after crossing Main Street.”

The extended video will provide the jury with additional context and allow it to better assess the totality of the circumstances, according to Temple.

“It is unlikely that the testimony of the witnesses could adequately convey the highly dangerous nature of the chase, an appreciation of which may be necessary for the jury to understand the effect it could have on (Flynn),” explained Temple, adding the court does not find the videos unfairly prejudicial. Temple did agree to permit slow motion video of the alleged assault, a request made by prosecutors, as long as the video is shown in real-time as well, say court records.

Flynn’s defense team requested that the jury be permitted to view the route followed by Simone and law enforcement officers on the day of the chase and assault, starting from the Massachusetts border into Nashua. Temple agreed that the jury will be able to view the route from the Main Street and Franklin Street intersection in Nashua to the end of the pursuit on Brigham Street.

A former state trooper from New Hampshire, Andrew Monaco, was also involved in the alleged beating and previously pleaded guilty and received a suspended jail term and agreed to never seek a job in law enforcement under a negotiated plea deal. Simone, 50, of Worcester, Mass., was treated at St. Joseph Hospital following the arrest, and received three stitches in his ear, suffered pain in his ribs and back, obtained a lump on the lower portion of his head and pressure in his sinus area, according to authorities.

Court documents indicate that Simone will likely testify at trial.

khoughton@newstote.com


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