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Roland Dow, center, gets ready to leave the courtroom for the lunch break Tuesday in Rockingham County Superior Court in Brentwood. Dow is accused of severely beating and burning his girlfriend's 3-year-old son. (Pool Photo by Jim Cole/Associated Press)

Prosecutors detail tot's injuries during opening of Plaistow abuse case


BRENTWOOD — Three-year-old James Nicholson went from a happy, articulate child in late 2012 to one that was fearful, quiet and suffering abuse so severe that doctors had to bore holes in his head to relieve the pressure, prosecutors said Tuesday morning.

Details about the tot’s injuries came out Tuesday during opening statements in the trial of Roland Dow, 28, of Plaistow, who is accused of abusing the tot between September and November 2012.

“He went from a healthy little boy to a child who couldn’t see due to the blood in his eyes,” Assistant County Attorney Kirsten Wilson told jurors during opening statements.

Prosecutors and the defense told jurors to prepare themselves to see graphic photos and videos detailing the tot’s injuries.

The defense argued that the boy’s mother, Jessica Linscott, actually abused her son and later blamed Dow.

Linscott is serving a 2½- to 7-year prison sentence for failing to report the abuse. She is expected to be the state’s star witness during the weeklong trial.

Defense lawyer Tom Gleason argued that there may be overwhelming evidence that Nicholson was abused, but only questionable testimony that points to Dow.

The evidence suggests “that the central issue in this case (is) who did it,” Gleason said.

Dow and Linscott went on the run after bringing Nicholson to Exeter Hospital. They were apprehended at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla. on Nov. 28, 2012.

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