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May 27, 2015 4:26 PM

Attorney: Jury right to not convict Richardson


BRENTWOOD - Mark Richardson's attorney told NH1 News Wednesday that the jury made the right decision by not convicting his client.

Richardson is a former Seabrook police officer, who was on trial because he allegedly assaulted Michael Bergeron by slamming his head into a concrete wall after a DWI arrest on November 11, 2009. The charge was brought forth after Bergeron's mother requested surveillance video from police because her then 19-year-old son could not remember how he was injured on the night of the incident.

"We are pleased that the jury was able to put the video in context," Peter Perroni of the law firm Nolan Perroni Harrington said Wednesday morning.

Perroni argued during opening statements last week that Bergeron was belligerently drunk and calling police officers "pigs" before Richardson used an arm-bar submission move on Bergeron, as the officer moved him back into a holding cell.

Richardson testified during the trial that he lost control while using the move on Bergeron, and that is what caused him to slam into a wall. Perroni also told the jury that Richardson believed Bergeron might spit on him, or strike him.

Perroni explained further that Bergeron was wearing no shirt in the surveillance video because he had taken it off and flushed it down the toilet, trying to cause a flood. He described Bergeron's unruly behavior and his client's desire to keep control of the drunk teen.

A mistrial was declared on Tuesday after jurors struggled to reach an agreement. The jury foreperson told Judge William Delker that one of the members of the jury believes marijuana gives people "super-human" strength.

Police had found marijuana cigarettes and two straws with white powder in them while searching Bergeron's vehicle.

Perroni pointed out that the Attorney General's office did not call Bergeron to the witness stand as they presented their case. He added that Tuesday's results gives his team confidence.

"We are heartened by the jury's refusal to convict Mark," Perroni said.

Assistant Attorney General Geoffrey Ward said his office will talk to jurors and discuss the options. A retrial is expected.

Meanwhile, Richardson, 40, of West Newbury, Mass., has been let go from the Seabrook Police Department. He is now working in construction, according to the AG's office.


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