Attorney May Appeal Bail Ruling in I-89 Collision
Lebanon — Before Robert Dellinger was arrested on upgraded charges Friday afternoon, his legal proceedings had been put on hold, as a probable cause hearing scheduled for earlier this week was postponed.
Peter DeCato, Dellinger’s attorney, said in an interview on Thursday that he was negotiating with the Attorney General’s Office to waive probable cause in exchange for early discovery, meaning the defense team would get to look at the state’s evidence sooner.
Probable cause must be established before a case can proceed to a grand jury for a potential indictment.
DeCato could not be reached for comment Friday night.
DeCato said on Thursday he was also considering appealing Judge Brian Tucker’s bail order. He said he was trying to obtain a recording of the hearing to show that Tucker ordered a $200,000 cash-only bail last week, but that the paperwork from the clerk said $250,000.
When asked if the requirement that Dellinger remain in New Hampshire was part of the consideration of whether to appeal the bail, DeCato said “that was one of them.”
DeCato had argued that Dellinger had doctor’s appointments scheduled in Kansas.
“I would say everything else in the bail order is what we’re looking at,” DeCato said.
Dellinger was arrested Friday at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.
DeCato also said it was “disconcerting” that the Attorney General’s Office made reference to Dellinger’s finances in requesting a high bail and “justified that amount of bail on the basis that he had wealth.
“The only two things that the bail hearing should have addressed were the amount of bail that would ensure that he would appear at future hearings and the amount that would ensure his safety and the safety of the public,” he said.
Similarly, Decato said he was concerned that widespread discussion of Dellinger’s wealth in the media and onliine — Dellinger is a former coporate executive whose family owns four homes in Sunapee and at least one other in Pennsylvania — could “poison” a jury pool.
There has been “chatter about the wealthy man who allegedly committed this crime, and I’ve been really just amazed that people want to have that leap in logic,” DeCato said. “So if the logic is we’re upset that this wealthy man may have committed this crime, why don’t they put in the equation that the wealthy man has 53 years of service to his community and has led more than an exemplary life.”
According to police logs, police were also called to Dellinger’s residence on Dec. 9, two days after the crash, when Dellinger was still in the hospital, for a complaint of suspicious truck parked in the driveway. Police found that it was a neighbor shoveling the driveway.