NH man sentenced in assault that left man blind in one eye

Posted Dec. 20, 2013, at 5:54 a.m.

ROCHESTER, N.H. — Clifford Gagnon, who caused another man to become blind on one eye during a Valentine’s Day assault, was ordered this week to serve five to 10 years in state prison.

Gagnon, 25, of 159 Milton Road in East Rochester, pleaded guilty to first-degree assault on Tuesday.

On Feb. 14, he assaulted a 49-year-old man at Residence Inn. The attack, which police say occurred during a theft, damaged the victim’s retina and left him blind in one eye, according to court documents. After the assault, the victim was taken to Maine Medical Center, where he was in a medically-induced coma for some time.

In May, Gagnon was indicted on felony robbery and first-degree assault. As part of a negotiated plea agreement, he pleaded guilty to first-degree assault, and the robbery charge was not prosecuted.

During Tuesday’s sentencing hearing at Strafford County Superior Court, Judge Kenneth Brown ordered a 5- to 10-year state prison sentence that began immediately. Six months of the minimum sentence is suspended, upon Gagnon’s acceptance into the county’s drug court program as a parolee.

Gagnon also was ordered to pay $81,264 in restitution — $78,453 to Maine Medical Center, $2,381 to Frisbie Memorial Hospital, and $429 to the victim. Brown ordered that the victim must be paid first.

Gagnon already has 307 days or pretrial confinement credit.

Distributed by MCT Information Services