Judge rejects bid to toss abuse case against Plaistow man
BRENTWOOD — A Plaistow man who went on the run to Orlando, Fla., with his girlfriend after he was suspected of abusing her 3-year-old son lost a bid to have his case thrown out by a judge.
Judge Marguerite Wageling rejected a request by Roland Dow, 28, to dismiss indictments against him, clearing the way for his trial in Rockingham County Superior Court on charges of first- and second-degree assault, according to a decision released Thursday.
The defense for Dow maintains that the state used "selective" prosecution by pursuing an assault case against him after the boy's mother, Jessica Linscott, agreed to cooperate and sat down for two interviews with prosecutors.
"During these interviews, Ms. Linscott admitted abusing her son," defense lawyer Tom Gleason said in a court motion. "She admitted to spanking her son during a time period when videos depict him as being physically impaired, pushing him so hard that he fell to the floor and landed across the room, and striking him repeatedly with an object."
Linscott, 25, of Plaistow, ultimately pleaded guilty in July to felony witness tampering and four misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child. She is now serving a 2½- to 7-year prison term.
Dow and Linscott went on the run in November 2012 after bringing 3-year-old James Linscott to Exeter Hospital to be examined. Linscott told doctors her son was suffering seizures brought on by self-inflicted injuries.
Hospital doctors concluded the boy suffered a brain injury, a loss of vision, first-degree burns on his wrist and arm and second-degree burns on his hand, according to a police affidavit.
Dow also faces charges that he made videos of the boy while coaching him on what to say in response to questions about his injuries. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges and remains at Rockingham County jail.
Prosecutors acknowledged that Linscott was abusive toward her son, but not to the same degree as Dow.
Linscott admitted to spanking her son and to "pushing him during an argument she was having with (Dow) and striking (her son) in the arm with a Windex bottle," according to court records.
"Her behavior is not comparable to the abuse the defendant subjected (the victim) to on virtually a daily basis," Assistant County Attorney Patricia Conway told a judge.
Conway rejected Gleason's claims that Dow was subjected to "selective" prosecution and "bartered away" a potential assault case against Linscott. She is expected to be called as a state witness during Dow's trial.
"It is important to note that this case has been handled by a number of prosecutors who had their own view on the best way to go about charging the defendant," Conway said in a court motion. "The various indictments have nothing to do with vindictive prosecution and/or prosecutorial overzealousness."