Keene man pleads to inspection sticker fraud in case where toddler was injuredBy MEGHAN PIERCE
Union Leader Correspondent
March 28. 2018 8:00PM
KEENE — A Keene man pleaded guilty Wednesday to one misdemeanor charge of displaying a false inspection sticker on an SUV that rolled backward over his toddler in a Jaffrey driveway last August.
Christopher Williams, 37, of Keene, was scheduled for trial on two misdemeanor counts of displaying a false inspection sticker in the 8th Circuit Court District Division in Keene on Wednesday morning. But he pleaded guilty to one charge in the Keene District Court Wednesday while the other charge was dropped as part of a negotiated plea deal.
He was given 30 days in the House of Corrections, suspended for two years pending good behavior. He was also issued a $1,000 fine and $240 penalty assessment fee.
Williams’ public defender, Joseph Frankel, said Williams would need a significant amount of time to pay the fine.
District Court Judge Erin B. McIntyre said Williams also has other outstanding court fines of $750.
Williams said he is working, but will need some time to pay those fines as well.
“Times (are) tough right now; we’re getting evicted out of our home,” Williams said, adding he is trying to move his family into a new home.
McIntyre suggested a payment plan, and if that didn’t work he could come back and negotiate the fine down with community service.
His wife, Heather Williams, 34, is charged with one misdemeanor of vehicular assault for the Jaffrey accident in which the couple’s Ford Explorer rolled over their daughter. She was scheduled to go to trial in the 8th Circuit Court District Division in Jaffrey on March 13, but the trial has been continued. A court clerk said Wednesday there is no new date set for the trial.
Both entered pleas of not guilty at their arraignments last year.
The vehicular assault charge accuses Heather Williams of knowingly driving a vehicle with mechanical problems leading to the accident and her daughter’s injuries.
The couple had driven to Forest Park Estates in Jaffrey to visit relatives with their son and daughter on Aug. 6.
“She said that she began to exit the vehicle when the brake disengaged and rolled backwards,” according to court documents, and as it rolled backward it struck the 3-year-old girl, who sustained a broken femur and was airlifted to UMass Medical Center in Worcester, Mass., following the incident.
After the accident, she told police it wasn’t the first time the SUV rolled out of park, according to court documents.