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Sunapee man pleads not guilty to I-89 deaths

LEBANON — A Sunapee man and former Fortune 500 executive is pleading not guilty to murder in a fatal car crash that killed a Vermont couple in December.

Last month, Robert J. Dellinger, 53, was indicted by a Sullivan County grand jury on two counts of murder in last December’s Interstate 89 deaths of a young Upper Valley couple during what prosecutors say was Dellinger’s failed suicide attempt.

On Tuesday, Dellinger’s attorney, Peter Decato of Lebanon, said his client waived his arraignment in the Sullivan County Superior Court and filed a plea of not guilty.

The prosecution and defense are scheduled to meet at the superior court June 19 for a structuring conference to determine trial dates.In response to his indictment last month, Dellinger released a statement through Decato, “I offer my heartfelt and deepest condolences to the families of Amanda Murphy and Jason Timmons. Their tragic deaths fill my heart with grief and mourning. While understanding that it may offer little consolation, my family and I pray daily for the Murphy and Timmons’ families, and I hope that one day they will be able to offer me their spiritual forgiveness.”The grand jury charged Dellinger with two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Timmons, 29, and Murphy, 24, both of Wilder, Vt. Grand jurors also indicted him on a count of second-degree assault against Murphy, who was 8 months pregnant.

The grand jury found cause to charge Dellinger for abdominal injuries to Murphy that resulted in the couple’s unborn baby girl’s fractured skull, which in turn caused the “stillbirth of the fetus,” according to the indictment.

There is no provision in New Hampshire law to bring a homicide charge in the death of an unborn child.

Dellinger is being held without bail at the Grafton County Jail in North Haverhill.

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