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Trial dates set for pair in child abuse case

Union Leader Correspondent

February 06. 2013 9:09PM
Trial dates have been set for Jessica Linscott, 23, and Roland Dow, 27, both of Plaistow, who are charged with abusing her 3-year-old son. (COURTESY)

BRENTWOOD - Trial dates have been set for a Plaistow couple charged with abusing and endangering a 3-year-old boy, who suffered a traumatic brain injury after days of being beaten and burned over the course of two weeks in November, according to prosecutors.

Roland Dow, 27, is expected to go on trial in the week of April 29 on eight charges, including first- and second-degree assault.

The boy's mother, Jessica Linscott, 23, is scheduled for trial on June 3. She faces six misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

A judge in Rockingham County Superior Court recently met with lawyers and set out a trial schedule for the two cases.

Prosecutors say Dow had beaten and burned 3-year-old James Nicholson between Nov. 1 and 16 while his mother did nothing to report the injuries to her child.

Dow and Linscott went on the run after leaving James Nicholson at Exeter Hospital on Nov. 14. Doctors concluded the injuries were the result of abuse, and called police.

Court documents say that a plea offer has already been made to Linscott, but the details have not been made public.

A plea offer is expected from Dow by March 8, court records say.

Dow faces 30 to 90 years in state prison if he is convicted of all charges at trial. Linscott could face up to six years in state prison for allegedly failing to take action as her son suffered seizures and other symptoms following what prosecutors believe was a pattern of abuse that happened between Nov. 1 and 14, according to indictments.

The six misdemeanor charges she faces are punishable by up to a year in county jail and a $2,000 fine.

Nicholson suffered a traumatic brain injury that caused protracted impairment to his vision along with burns to his wrist and fingers, according to indictments.

He was released from Children's Hospital at Dartmouth in Lebanon late last year.

Dow and Linscott remained on the run for two weeks before being apprehended at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla. by U.S. Marshals.

Dow is being held on $500,000 bail at the county jail. Jessica Linscott was ordered held on $100,000 bail.

The couple pleaded not guilty to the charges at their arraignment in 10th Circuit Court in Plaistow on Dec. 3.

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