HAVERHILL — A former Fortune 500 executive from Sunapee who allegedly killed a young couple in a crash on a New Hampshire highway during a failed suicide attempt is now formally facing two counts of murder.
Robert Dellinger, 53, also faces a new third charge, second-degree assault, for abdominal injuries to the eight-months-pregnant woman that caused the death of the engaged couple's unborn child.
A Grafton County Superior Court grand jury has charged Dellinger with two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Jason Timmins, 29, and Amanda Murphy, 24. The couple lived in Wilder, Vt., just across the Connecticut River from Lebanon.
A third indictment charges Dellinger with second-degree assault against Murphy for "causing injuries to her abdomen, and a skull fracture to the fetus being carried by her, resulting in the stillbirth of the fetus," according to the indictment.
Grand jurors handed the indictments up Friday; they were made public late Tuesday.
Assistant New Hampshire Attorney General Diana Fenton said at Dellinger's arraignment in December in Lebanon District Court that Dellinger — of Point Birch Lane in Sunapee — deliberately drove his 2005 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck across the Interstate 89 median in Lebanon and into oncoming traffic while trying to kill himself.
He survived the Dec. 7 crash and was treated at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon. But his truck demolished the 2005 Ford Escape in which Murphy was behind the wheel and Timmons a front-seat passenger. Both died from lacerations to the mid-brain, according to the indictments.
Although the Attorney General's Office had previously upgraded two charges against Dellinger from manslaughter to second-degree murder during the December hearing, felony pleas cannot be entered in lower court in New Hampshire. The matter was later presented to the grand jury in the Superior Court in North Haverhill.
Second-degree murder in New Hampshire carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Senior Assistant New Hampshire Attorney General Susan Morrell said in December that Dellinger left his home on the day of the crash after an argument with his wife over his depression medication and a bedtime curfew imposed by his doctor, and headed south on I-89.