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Oct 13, 2016 6:22 PM

Man convicted in post-party crash appeals to NH Supreme Court


NASHUA — The New Hampshire Supreme Court is deciding whether a teenager convicted of hitting two women with his car the morning after a party will have his conviction overturned.

READ: Portsmouth teen driver convicted of hitting 2 people appeals to high court

Remi Gross-Santos was convicted of assault and transporting alcohol as a minor. Police arrested him after he struck two women with his car the morning after a graduation party in 2014. Gross-Santos said he fell asleep at the wheel, but the state has maintained that alcohol played a role in the crash.

An attorney for Gross-Santos appealed to the state's highest court Thursday. It was one of two cases heard in front of a crowd at Bishop Guertin High School during the "On the Road" series.

Gross-Santos was given a suspended sentence and ordered to perform community service.

His attorney said his trial was unfair because the state's star witness was allowed to testify about a marijuana grinder that was found in the back of Gross-Santos' car.

The star witness and Gross-Santos had differing accounts about smoking marijuana, and the state said that put the defendants credibility into question. Gross-Santos' attorney said the marijuana grinder was irrelevant and shouldn't have been used in trial.

"The marijuana grinder had nothing to do with the credibility of the statement," defense attorney David Rothstein said.

"It’s the same as if they found a marijuana pipe or a marijuana seed or a marijuana paper," said Assistant Attorney General Susan McGinnis. "It’s the same thing. It corroborates that they were using marijuana in the car."

The court took the case under advisement.

Justices also heard arguments from the attorney for a man convicted of Attempted Murder and First Degree Assault.

Kyree Rice was sentenced to 20 years to life for shooting a man during a brawl in Manchester.

His attorney argued the trial judge should have allowed defense to prove the victim had been using cocaine and acted aggressively during the fight. He also said it was unclear whether jurors understood that displaying a firearm is not considered deadly force.

That case is also under consideration. There is no timeline on the rulings.

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