Indicted Driver Issues Statement
Lebanon — The Sunapee man charged with second-degree murder in a Dec. 7 accident that killed a Wilder couple has released a statement offering his “heartfelt and deepest condolences” to the couple’s families.
Robert J. Dellinger, 53, was indicted by the Grafton County grand jury late last week on two second-degree murder charges and a second-degree assault charge.
Dellinger said in a statement through his attorney on Wednesday that he hopes the families eventually will be able to offer him “spiritual forgiveness.”
The statement reads in full: “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.”
Authorities have alleged that Dellinger was depressed and attempting suicide when he intentionally crossed the median on Interstate 89 in Lebanon and drove into oncoming traffic, colliding with the vehicle carrying 24-year-old Murphy, who was pregnant, and 29-year-old Timmons.
Dellinger’s attorney, Peter Decato, added in a statement that it was a “tragic accident,” and said he expects his client to be cleared of all criminal wrongdoing. Decato declined to talk about his client’s defense strategy in more detail .
When asked why Dellinger felt compelled to put out a statement, Decato said it was simply something that Dellinger felt he needed to do. Decato told the Associated Press that Dellinger would plead not guilty when he is arraigned.
Assistant Attorney General Diana Fenton declined to comment for this story.
Dellinger resigned in 2011 as senior vice president and chief financial officer of Pittsburgh’s PPG Industries because of “personal health-related reasons,” according to reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He also worked for General Electric Co., Sprint Corp. and Delphi Corp.
The Valley News previously reported that the Sunapee Police Department responded to Dellinger’s Sunapee resident three days prior to the I-89 collision on a medical call for “possible hypothermia.” When police arrived, they were advised that Dellinger was suffering from symptoms of Ambien withdrawal.
New Hampshire Senior Assistant Attorney General Susan Morrell said in court in December that Dellinger was despondent on Dec. 7 and considered taking his own life following a disagreement with his wife about his anti-depressant medication.
Dellinger has been at the Grafton County jail since December and is being held without bail. Jail Superintendent Glenn Libby said Dellinger lives in a housing unit with other inmates and added that he’s a “good inmate.”
“He’s been a gentleman,” Libby said.
Timmons’ father, Floyd Timmons, said in response to Dellinger’s statement that he can forgive, but he can’t forget, adding that he’s pleased to see an indictment because Dellinger “needs to face it.”
“I believe everybody is responsible for their actions and what the courts decide is what the law suggests. I respect that,” Floyd Timmons said. “He did a terrible thing, and my son had to pay for it. But nothing is going to fix it.”
Floyd Timmons said that at the time of his son’s death, he was re-establishing a relationship with him. Floyd Timmons has lived in Florida for a number of years and said he and his son went years without having contact with one another, but reconnected as Jason Timmons grew older .
Jason Timmons’ mother and Murphy’s family could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.
Prior to the indictments, which were released Tuesday, Dellinger already had faced two counts of second-degree murder , but the indictments handed up last week included a third charge — second-degree assault — related to the death of Murphy’s unborn child.
Murphy was eight months pregnant at the time of the accident, and the indictment for the second-degree assault charge alleges that Dellinger recklessly caused injuries to Murphy’s abdomen, resulting in a skull fracture to the fetus and a stillbirth. In New Hampshire, murder charges can not be filed in connection with the death of a fetus.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt, but a tool for prosecutors to continue with criminal cases.
Dellinger has an arraignment scheduled on May 12 at Grafton Superior Court.
Sarah Brubeck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-727-3223.