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Wheelman pleads guilty to his role in 2016 shooting death of Littleton man

By JOHN KOZIOL
Union Leader Correspondent

May 18. 2017 9:04PM
Nicholas Skidmore, left, stands with his attorney, Claude Buttrey Thursday afternoon in Grafton County Superior Court. Skidmore pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and tampering with a witness in connection with the May 27, 2016 shooting death of Robert Pierog in Littleton. (JOHN KOZIOL/CORRESPONDENT)

NORTH HAVERHILL — While his sentencing will be held at a future date, Nicholas Skidmore pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to commit murder and tampering with a witness in the May 27, 2016, murder of Robert Pierog in Littleton.

Authorities allege that Pierog, 22, was shot and killed by Damion Yeargle, 22, of Littleton, after having been lured out of his West Main Street apartment by Quade Kadle, 19, of Jefferson, both of whom were driven to and from the scene by Skidmore, 22, of Littleton.

The murder was “in retaliation” for Pierog having been a confidential informant for the Bethlehem Police Department, Assistant Attorney General Geoffrey Ward told Justice Lawrence MacLeod in Grafton County Superior Court.

To “work off a pending felony charge,” Pierog had conducted several “controlled buys” of marijuana from a Bethlehem man and woman, and Pierog’s cooperation with police later became common knowledge in Littleton, Ward said.

Skidmore’s attorney, Claude Buttrey, recently informed the court that his client was accepting a fully-negotiated plea in exchange for a “stand-committed” term of between 13 and 30 years in the New Hampshire State Prison, with five years deferred for 10 years on the conspiracy to commit murder charge.

Meanwhile, the witness tampering charge would carry a term of 3 1/2 to 7 years in prison, all of it suspended for 10 years.

Two other charges — second-degree murder and hindering apprehension or prosecution — will be dropped when the sentences are finalized. MacLeod said the sentences will include restitution for Pierog’s funeral expenses.

Although he was cooperative with authorities, including in the recovery of the rifle, bandanas and latex gloves used in Pierog’s murder, Ward said Skidmore “knew someone was going to die.”

Asked by MacLeod what Pierog’s family thought of Skidmore’s plea, Ward replied that it was “fair to say they’re disappointed by the length” of the proposed prison terms, but understood why they were agreed to.

Yeargle is scheduled to go to trial on Nov. 13 and Kadle on Feb. 6, 2018. Both are being held without bail at the Grafton County Jail.


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