Charges dropped against Nashua dad accused of assaulting son for not eating Pop-TartBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
March 07. 2018 12:58PM
NASHUA — Charges have been dropped against a city man accused of assaulting his son when the boy wouldn’t eat a Pop-Tart.
Jason Trythall, 35, of 21 Mulberry St., Apt. A, was to be tried this week on two felony counts of second-degree assault in connection with the 2017 incident.
Jury selection was canceled Monday after prosecutors declined to go forward. The case was dismissed last Friday because the victim, now 7, is not able to testify, according to court documents.
Trythall’s defense team said in court documents the victim “is a young child whose recollection of the alleged offense and ability to recount details may well be limited by his age.”
The child was 6 at the time of the alleged assault.
“Given that (the boy) is the state’s main witness, this case will likely rise and fall on the content of his testimony and his credibility,” wrote defense attorneys Marc Gouthro and Ryan Guptill, arguing the victim might not have the capacity to remember, narrate or understand the duty to tell the truth.
The lawyers had filed a motion to determine the boy’s competency, maintaining the child was never asked about his ability to understand the duty to tell the truth when being questioned at the Nashua Children’s Advocacy Center following the alleged assault.
Assistant Hillsborough County Attorney Kent Smith objected to the motion.
“Testifying in court is already intimidating for a child of the victim’s age. It should not be made more so by unnecessary badgering by defense counsel,” Smith wrote.
The child’s grandmother reported the alleged incident to police on Feb. 25, 2017. The grandmother, who has custody of the boy, told police that when she picked him up after a visit with his father, the boy showed her a bruise on his left arm.
“(He) disclosed that his father did that to him earlier in the day because he would not eat his Pop-Tart,” according to a police affidavit on file in Nashua Circuit Court.
This is the second time in about two years that criminal charges against Trythall have been dropped. In December 2016, charges against Trythall involving an alleged attack against a woman in the Gate City were dismissed.