Police say it was a suicide attempt by car. Instead, a Vermont couple and their unborn child ended up dead. Wednesday, Robert Dellinger, 53, was arraigned on two counts of manslaughter.
According to the New Hampshire attorney general's office, the victims were killed instantly when Dellinger's truck plowed into them. Wednesday, prosecutors told the court Dellinger did it on purpose.
Authorities say Dellinger was traveling south on Interstate 89 in Lebanon Saturday when he crossed the median and struck the victims' car head on. Police say Jason Timmons, 29, and Amanda Murphy, 24, of Wilder, were headed north-- literally in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Dellinger was hospitalized after the crash and was arrested Tuesday immediately after he was discharged.
Dellinger did not enter a plea at Wednesday's hearing, which was done by video conference. The judge ordered him to undergo a mental health evaluation before his next court hearing Dec. 19.
There was a strong showing from Dellinger's family in court and they have indicated they will be able to come up with the $250,000 bail Dellinger is being held on. He was also ordered to surrender his license and his passport and not leave the state of New Hampshire.
The victims were engaged to be married. And as we have reported, Amanda Murphy was eight months pregnant. But charges will not be filed in connection with the death of the unborn child.
"The law is very clear in New Hampshire that under the homicide statues, you have to cause the death of another. And the Legislature has defined another not to include a fetus, so it requires there is a life birth rule in New Hampshire," N.H. Assistant Attorney General Susan Morrell said.
If convicted on the two counts of manslaughter Dellinger faces, he could spend 30-60 years behind bars. Prosecutors told the court that because of his age that would essentially amount to a life sentence.
Dellinger's family left the court and did not speak to the press. The victims' families also declined comment.
A candlelight vigil is being held in Wilder tonight for the victims.
Friday, April 18 2014 12:04 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:04:40 GMT
A Putney man was taken to the hospital after police say he was run over in a driveway. It happened this afternoon on Kimball Hill Road. Investigators say 63-year-old Eric Ladd was walking slipped and hitMore >>
A Putney man was taken to the hospital after police say he was run over in a driveway. It happened this afternoon on Kimball Hill Road.More >>
Friday, April 18 2014 12:00 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:00:59 GMT
Police are searching for clues after a homemade bottle bomb was found at a park in Keene New Hampshire. On Wednesday workers were doing spring clean-up at Wheelock park when they found a 55-gallon drumMore >>
Police are searching for clues after a homemade bottle bomb was found at a park in Keene New Hampshire.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:58 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:58:40 GMT
There's been a tragedy on the Burlington beltway Thursday night. Police confirm that a 24-year-old Winooski man was killed in a motorcycle crash that shutdown the beltway. The name has been releasedMore >>
Burlington Police confirm that a 24-year-old Winooski man was killed in a motorcycle crash that shutdown the beltline.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:08 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:08:04 GMT
Police say two people found dead at a home in Stowe are believed to have died in a murder-suicide. Police are still not releasing their names or the cause of death, but they say the victims are adults. StoweMore >>
A Stowe couple is dead after what police say was a murder-suicide. The news came as a shock to neighbors who say they never noticed any red flags. More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 6:58 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:58:26 GMT
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury. Timothy Foley did appear in court Thursday in Middlebury. He wasn't there last time,More >>
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:26 AM EDT2014-04-17 15:26:34 GMT
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to...More >>
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to 12 months.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:05:16 GMT
A teenager has been arrested for making a bomb threat in St. Albans. Police say the threat was made to Project SOAR, an alternative school, Wednesday morning. The building was searched and no bomb wasMore >>
Police say a teenager has been arrested for allegedly making a bomb threat to an alternative school in St. Albans.More >>