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Grandmother defends accused child abuser

PLAISTOW - Helen Fram insists that her grandson, Roland Dow, never beat and burned his girlfriend's 3-year-old son.

"He would never ever hurt a baby," the 90-year-old woman said from the duplex where she lives on Main Street in Plaistow next to Dow and Jessica Linscott.

But authorities tell a different story, and next week the couple will likely appear in a Plaistow courtroom to answer charges of assault and neglect in a case of alleged child abuse that has sparked public outrage.

Dow, 27, and Linscott, 23, waived extradition in Florida Friday morning, clearing the way for local authorities to bring the fugitive couple back to New Hampshire.

Rockingham County Attorney James Reams said travel arrangements were being made Friday for their return.

Dow is charged with first- and second-degree assault for allegedly striking Linscott's son, James Nicholson, in the head on Nov. 1, causing a traumatic brain injury that led to seizures and other symptoms that police say went untreated two weeks later. Dow is also accused of burning the boy's wrist and fingers.

Dow faces five additional counts of endangering the welfare of a child while Linscott is charged with six counts of the same charge after they allegedly failed to seek medical treatment for the seizures on several occasions.

Fram defended her grandson even after he and Linscott eluded authorities for nearly two weeks and ended up at the Universal Studios theme park in Orlando, Fla., where they were arrested after watching a parade.

"They were afraid of getting caught, but being innocent, they figured they didn't do anything wrong," Fram said.

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