Gage Young

Gage Young appears at a December 2018 probable-cause hearing in Grafton County Superior Court.

NORTH HAVERHILL — Following a closed-door hearing Tuesday, a judge ruled that the trial of Gage Young, the Lebanon man accused of randomly shooting a pedestrian in Hanover on Nov. 2, 2018, will be continued two months or more.

Up until this week, Young’s trial had been set to start on Tuesday in Grafton County Superior Court and to last up to 10 days.

But on Tuesday, after consultation with counsel for Young and the state, and with assent from both parties, Judge Lawrence MacLeod, Jr. issued an order saying “the trial in this case is continued to a date to be determined no sooner than the March 2020 trial term.” MacLeod added that a hearing on pending motions will be scheduled as soon as the court docket permits.

David Carlson, who is clerk of the Grafton County Superior Court, told reporters waiting outside MacLeod’s courtroom that the jury which had been picked for Young’s trial will be dismissed and a new one impaneled.

In court documents and in testimony at previous bail hearings, the state has alleged that Young, 23, while riding as a passenger in his Ford Fusion that was being operated by a 17-year old male identified as “H.C.,” shot Thomas Eliot with a 9mm Taurus handgun, striking him in the abdominal wall/liver.

Police said Young did not know Eliot, who is from Massachusetts. Eliot had been walking with friends on a sidewalk in downtown Hanover near the Dartmouth College campus.

Hours before the shooting, authorities said “H.C.,” who is originally from Bridgeport, Conn., and was living with family members in Lebanon, contacted Young and said he wanted to get “F…ed up” on alcohol.

H.C., who is also the state’s key witness against Young, wanted to imbibe, authorities say, because he was upset, having earlier learned that an acquaintance of his in Bridgeport had been shot at, the state alleged.

Young and “H.C.” drove to the New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlet in West Lebanon where Young purchased alcohol and the two then traveled into Hanover, with “H.C.” behind the driver’s wheel and Young in the passenger seat.

Hanover Police said they have video surveillance of a car that appears to be Young’s go past Eliot’s group twice and then exit the area at high speed after the shooting.

But under cross-examination by defense attorneys, the state witnesses have conceded that the video is poor quality, which prevents the definite identification of the vehicle.

When the suspect vehicle was encountered by Lebanon Police, officers pursued it to Young’s neighborhood, where they said “H.C.” crashed it into an embankment. At the scene, officers recovered a handgun registered to Young that they said Young had allegedly thrown from the vehicle from the passenger seat.

In January 2019, the Grafton County Grand Jury indicted Young for being a principal/accomplice with “H.C,” in the commission of first- and second-degree assault, each of which is a Class S felony, punishable by a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

Young was also indicted on two counts of reckless conduct and one count of falsifying physical evidence, each Class B felonies, punishable by a prison term of 3 ½ to seven years; and prohibited sales of alcohol.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020