Alleged 2018 Dartmouth shooter’s trial will likely be delayed from October to November

The trial has been delayed due to complications regarding the potential consolidation of Gage Young’s case with that of an alleged accomplice.

by Shena Han | 10/5/21 5:21am

by Madison Cook / The Dartmouth

The trial of Gage Young — one of two individuals accused in a 2018 drive-by shooting incident near Dartmouth’s campus — was originally set to go to court this October but continues to experience delays. Young’s trial will most likely be delayed until November, according to Bruce Jasper — counsel representing Hector Correa, an alleged accomplice in the case.

According to Grafton County attorney Marcie Hornick, as of what was meant to be a final pretrial hearing last Wednesday, Superior Court judge Lawrence MacLeod had yet to rule on several motions that would be integral to the outcome of the trial. 

“[MacLeod] needs more time to schedule arguments about the motions that have been filed,” Hornick said. 

Young is accused of firing a single shot from a passing car on School Street on Nov. 2, 2018 and injuring Thomas Elliot, a Providence College student who was visiting Dartmouth at the time. Correa was allegedly driving the car that night. Elliot survived his injuries and, according to Hornick, will serve as a witness for the prosecution. 

According to the Valley News, many of the motions revolve around whether key pieces of evidence will be considered admissible in the trial. Until the judge makes his final rulings, both the prosecution and defense will be unable to go forward with their arguments.

One essential ruling will be on the prosecution’s motion for a consolidation of the trials of Young and Correa. Correa, then 17, was allegedly the driver of the car he and Young were in at the time of the shooting. 

According to Norwich criminal defense attorney George Ostler ’77,  a consolidated case would allow Correa to choose not to testify or be cross-examined in court, thus benefiting the prosecution. 

“In a criminal trial, statements made by a defendant are admissible in a prosecutor’s case without the defendant testifying,” Ostler said. 

Without the ability to cross-examine Correa on statements he gave to police after his arrest, Young’s attorney, Richard Guerriero, would be limited in his ability to discredit the parts of that testimony which may implicate his client, Ostler added. Guerriero has objected to the consolidation, according to the Valley News.

Jasper said he cannot confirm his stance regarding consolidation, adding that he has not yet received any notice regarding hearings in Correa’s case.

“I’m guessing that I probably will [object],” Jasper said. “But I don’t really have any other comment.” 

Ostler noted that in his experience, consolidations are more likely to be granted at the federal level compared to the state level. 

According to the Valley News, Young and Correa are facing charges of first- and second-degree assault with a firearm and reckless conduct with a deadly weapon. Correa will be tried as an adult in this case.

Correa was allegedly driving the car when Young fired the shot, though Young’s attorneys have attempted to cast doubt on that claim. Jasper noted that should Young’s attorneys argue that Correa actually fired the gun, they would be at odds.

Young’s and Correa’s cases thus far have been marked by numerous sealed documents and closed-door hearings, according to the Valley News. Hornick declined to comment on the reasons that cause delays in bringing the case to trial, saying that much of the information is currently closed to the public.

However, Hornick said she is optimistic that the case would eventually reach a resolution.

“The matter needs to be resolved,” she said. “The criminal justice system needs to do its job.”

Young’s counsel Richard Guerriero could not be reached for comment.