Love letter to judge didn’t save man from state prison sentence

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File Photo/Dave Cummings, New Hampshire Bulletin

MANCHESTER, NH — A city man convicted of witness tampering and buying alcohol for minors – three teenage girls who left a drug treatment program in search of alcohol in 2019 – is in the New Hampshire State Prison after being sentenced last week to 8 ½ to 13 years – despite trying to woo the judge with a love letter.

Chasrick Heredia, 26, of Manchester was sentenced Sept. 8 on charges of contributing to the delinquency of minors, falsifying physical evidence and witness tampering.   

Originally, Heredia was accused of sexually assaulting two teens who, with another teenage girl, in 2019 walked away from Granite Pathways, a River Road treatment center.  He and co-defendant Matthew Hugle, 27, of 56 Ledgewood Drive, were accused of plying them with beer and then having sex with them.

A Hillsborough County Superior Court Northern District jury acquitted him of all five sexual assault charges, the most serious of which carried a maximum sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison. 

Chasrick was credited with 777 days of pre-trial confinement.

The falsifying evidence charge accused Heredia of asking a friend to delete a recording of him having sex with one of the teens.  He was concerned he might be charged with manufacturing child pornography, according to court records.

Assistant Hillsborough County Attorney Shaylen Roberts asked Judge Amy Messer to sentence him to 14½ to 25 years in prison and credit him for only 325 days of pre-trial confinement.

Roberts, in a 16-page sentencing memorandum filed with the court prior to him being sentenced, argued that Heredia has “done nothing but attempt to lie, cheat, and manipulate the criminal justice system and to avoid taking any accountability for his actions…Information gathered from the defendant’s phone conversations, letters, and his own behavior pending, during and after his trial demonstrate his lack of remorse and his insulting and undeserved arrogance.  Chasrick Heredia is incapable of thinking of himself as anything other than an innocent victim of the criminal justice system.  He is not.”

Chasrick Heredia arrest photo. File, MPD

She said Heredia tried everything to get out of the charges including writing letters of adoration to Messer to have her removed from the case.  Roberts said the letter was an “absolutely ridiculous” attempt by Heredia to either create a reversible issue for the 2019 case, or to have Messer recused from his case.  She said the content of the letter was laughable.

“Every time I’m in your courtroom, physically or via WebEx, I find myself unable to absorb very much insight as to what took place due to my compelling focus on your facial features,” he wrote.  Also, “I would like to propose a way to facilitate a negative outcome for myself for the sake of doing what pleases you.” 

Heredia testified at his trial, and Roberts said much of his testimony focused on his feelings for his girlfriend and his lack of desperation for female attention despite professing his undying love for the judge months earlier.

The trial was stopped on the fourth day because it was reported Heredia either had a seizure or hit his head in the middle of the night.  The jury was dismissed and a hearing was held via video with Heredia present.  Roberts said he did not look at the camera, held his head in his hands and refused to say anything other than: “I’m going to die in here,” and “I’m dying of thirst.”

Prosecutors, however, obtained copies of jail calls by the defendant and his cellmate, Jaiden Cirruzzi, and co-defendant Hugle.  Heredia, she wrote, concocted an elaborate plan (“albeit very poorly executed”) based on his flimsy legal research.  His plan was to hurt his own head – which he did – to create an appealable issue.  

Heredia was evaluated by a medical professional, found to be competent and the trial resumed.

Defense attorney Roger “Rusty” Chadwick of Nashua asked the court to sentence Chasrick to about three years on all the charges.

“He spent the entire pandemic in jail and his trial was continued numerous times, some of those being over our objection,” Chadwick said.

He said generally people convicted of providing alcohol to minors are issued a fine and/or suspended sentence. 

“Hardly anyone goes to jail on that charge as far as I am aware. So, those maximum stand committed sentences are extreme in relation to the conduct that is being punished (give alcohol to minors),” he said. 

Chadwick said “despite a complete run of not guilts on the sex charges, Chasrick’s “other conduct is what will keep him in jail and that is most unfortunate or, I believe, he would be out today.”

Chadwick is asking for a panel of three judges to review the sentencing. He said another reason for the review is the falsifying evidence and witness tampering incidents took place on the same date, involved the same facts and the same other person “so we argued that he should not receive separate sentences.”

Chadwick explained the panel of three other judges will review the case and “may or may not give us a hearing and then may or may not increase, decrease or leave his sentences as they are now.”

The incident happened on July 23, 2019, when the three teens – two age 15 and one age 16 – walked away from Granite Pathways in search of alcohol.  They went to a 7-Eleven on Webster Street where they asked people to buy alcohol for them. 

Hugle arrived at the store and the girls got into his car.

He picked up Heredia and drove to several locations, plying the teens with beer and having sex with them, according to a prosecutor.

When two of the teens returned to Granite Pathways the following day, a prosecutor said one was nude, the other was partially clothed, both were covered in vomit, highly intoxicated and distraught after being sexually assaulted.

A third girl who went with them was still with one of the men, the teens told the staff.  Police located her at Hugle’s home.

At one point in the night, the two girls said they woke up in a field to see their friend being sexually assaulted.  Both girls were taken to the Elliot Hospital for treatment.

Granite Pathways, which treated teens for substance abuse disorders, was shut down after that incident and other incidents involving teen overdoses.

Hugle is awaiting trial on three counts of felonious sexual assault, one count of aggravated felonious sexual assault and three counts of being an accomplice to delinquency.  It is scheduled for November.