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Jul 28, 2015 9:13 PM

Stratham teen accused of stealing pot at gunpoint will be tried as adult


BRENTWOOD - A Stratham teenager who allegedly robbed a drug dealer's marijuana at gunpoint will be tried as an adult, despite his protests.

Andru Bromfield, 17, and three co-conspirators, lured the 18-year-old Hampton Falls man to an Exeter apartment with the intent to steal 2 1/2 ounces of pot from him on Dec. 9. During a violent attack, they were able to get away with about an ounce of marijuana.

Bromfield's attorney, Joseph Prieto, argued that the case should be dismissed under HB 1624, which took effect July 1, because Bromfield was a minor at the time of the crime.

Prosecutors struck back, saying the attack took place last winter, and HB 1624 cannot be applied in this case.

Karen Springer is listed as the prosecutor in court paperwork, and fellow Assistant County Attorney Brandon Garod drafted a motion to object to Prieto's assertions. Included were six attachments, supporting their position.

Judge David Anderson agreed with the state, and jury selection remains scheduled for Monday, according to the case file.

On Tuesday, a spokesperson for Governor Maggie Hassan said she signed the bill into law because she believes it is an appropriate and just measure to preserve the rights of juvenile defendants, while balancing the need to ensure that some offenses can still be brought to the adult courts, indicating Bromfield could be tried as an adult, even if he had committed the crime after July 1.

"There is a process in place to ensure that, when the facts of the crime and/or criminal history of the individual warrant, individuals who are under the age of 18 can be certified as adults for purposes of criminal prosecution," communications director William Hinkle said.

Hinkle said Hassan believes it is the responsibility of the judicial system to make these determinations on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the law.

One of Bromfield's co-conspirators, Chaz Gagnon, who got the drug dealer to visit the apartment in exchange for a few grams of marijuana, pleaded guilty to his participation in the crime last month.

Gagnon was sentenced to 12 months in the House of Corrections, but 337 days were suspended, so he only served 28 days in jail prior to his plea deal being accepted by the court.

Gagnon is expected to testify against Bromfield next week. His name is among ten people scheduled to appear during the two-day trial.

Follow Kimberley Haas on Twitter @KHaasNH1.


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