Judge delays Heredia trial, orders competency evaluation

·1 min read

Jun. 7—The trial of a Manchester man accused of sexually assaulting three walkaways from the Granite Pathways youth treatment center was further delayed Monday, when defendant Chasrick Heredia appeared in court cowering from bright light and vomiting.

Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Amy Messer sent the jury home for the day on Monday after doing so on Friday also when Heredia, 27, claimed he had a seizure at Valley Street jail and struck his head.

On Monday, the issue was whether he was competent to stand trial. He entered the courtroom stooped and trying to shield his eyes from the fluorescent lighting. At the defense table he appeared to vomit.

Messer ordered Valley Street jail to quickly release all of Heredia's health and mental health records to the prosecution, which wants a competency evaluation of Heredia.

In a lengthy court filing, lead prosecutor Shaylen Roberts raised doubts about any sickness on Heredia's part. But she warned that if Messer did not allow a competency evaluation, any verdict could be threatened on appeal.

Roberts said she would visit the jail herself to retrieve the records to speed things up.

"We're going to do this in a way that doesn't cause unnecessary delays," Messer said.

Heredia's lawyer, Rusty Chadwick, said he could not understand what Heredia was saying, except that he wants to go to the hospital.

Heredia's trial started last week. Three girls — aged 16, 15 and 15 — who walked away from the Granite Pathways treatment center in 2019 have testified. Heredia and a friend are charged with plying the girls with beer and having sex with them.

Roberts said the prosecution will need about three more days to present its case.

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