NORTH HAVERHILL — The appeal for a new trial by Damion Yeargle, the Littleton man who pleaded guilty to shooting and killing a friend because the friend had been a police informant, was denied in Grafton County Superior Court on Tuesday.
Following a brief hearing that included sealing the courtroom for an ex parte discussion with Yeargle and his attorney Caroline Brown, Judge Lawrence MacLeod granted an assented-to motion for Brown to withdraw from the case.
MacLeod also denied Yeargle’s motion asking for a new trial based on the claim of ineffective counsel, but he did so with the provision that the denial was without prejudice, meaning Yeargle can refile the motion.
Brown, in the Nov. 25 motion to withdraw, wrote that she had been appointed by the court after Yeargle in July filed a pro se motion for a new trial. She wrote she could not continue “to effectively represent Mr. Yeargle without his willingness to fulfill certain requests and obligations needed for preparation of his case.”
In his motion for a new trial, Yeargle said the two attorneys he had previously had failed to “properly advise him of the facts of the offense and the nature of the offense to which he pleaded” and also did not provide all evidence to him.
In May 2018, Yeargle pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and also to second-degree murder for his role in the May 27, 2016, killing of Robert Pierog.
On that date, Yeargle and two other men drove to Pierog’s apartment on West Main Street in Littleton, where after Pierog was lured outside, Yeargle shot him several times with a .22-caliber rifle. Pierog, who was married and had a young child, died at the scene.
Within two days, police identified Yeargle as the shooter, Quade Kadle as the person who had lured Pierog outside to his death and Nicholas Skidmore as the person who had driven both of them to and from the scene.
Skidmore was the first to confess what he had done, followed by Kadle, and they each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to tamper with a witness. They were sentenced to between 13 and 30 years in New Hampshire State Prison. Yeargle was sentenced to serve between 36 and 72 years.