High Bail for Fugitives in Child Abuse Case
Jessica Linscott and Roland Dow appeared in court Monday after nearly two weeks on the run.
EXETER, NH -- A fugitive couple charged in a high-profile child abuse case were ordered held on high bail Monday.
Plaistow residents Jessica Linscott, 23, and Roland Dow, 27, were captured Wednesday at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla. after they evaded authorities for nearly two weeks.
During their arraignment Monday, Plaistow Circuit Court Judge Sharon DeVries ordered Dow held on $500,000 bail and Linscott held on $100,000 bail. The pair said they would not be able to pay those amounts.
Court documents allege Dow struck Linscott's three-year-old son in the head "causing a traumatic brain injury" and burned the child's wrist and fingers.
During their arraignments, Linscott and Dow said very little. After Assistant Rockingham County Attorney Michael Zaino requested the $100,000 bail for Linscott, DeVries asked if Linscott had anything to say.
"No, I just want a lawyer," said Linscott, who appeared composed throughout the arraignment.
The pair went on the run after Linscott's 3-year-old son was found battered and burned by doctors at Exeter Hospital in November, police said.
Linscott has told authorities her son's injuries were self-inflicted.
Both appeared via video from Rockingham County jail in Brentwood. Linscott did not appear with an attorney while Dow was represented by attorney Larry Vogelman.
Linscott is facing six seperate charges of child endangerment, all of which are Class A misdemeanors. According to court documents, Linscott is alleged to have failed to seek medical care for her son who was "suffering seizures and other symptoms following a head injury" on six different incidents.
Linscott could face up to two years in jail or a $2,000 fine on each of the charges.
Zaino called both Linscott and Down dangers to the community and flight risks in asking for high cash bail conditions.
Zaino said Dow was contacted by the Plaistow Police Department on Nov. 16 regarding warrants for his and Linscott's arrests. But instead of turning themselves in, Zaino said they fled the area.
According to Zaino, the pair first went to Haverhill, Mass., then to Boston, then to New York by bus and then went to Florida by train.
"This was, in fact, a man-hunt," Zaino said. "They knew we wanted them and they left and both of them tried to hide."
Some facts about Linscott's previous brushes with the law came out during the arraignment. While Zaino said she has no prior felony convictions, in 2008 Linscott was fined for unlawful possession and in 2010 a criminal mischief charge was placed on file without a finding.
Her next court hearing will be Dec. 20 in Plaistow.
A total of seven charges are pending against Dow. The two felonies alleging bodily harm against Linscott's are for first and second degree assault, respectively. Dow also faces five misdemeanors for child endangerment.
Zaino said there is "a very strong chance" Dow will face more charges as the investigation continues.
According to Zaino, videos were made that allegedly showed Linscott's son self-inflicting the injuries as Linscott claimed.
"The hospital staff had a chance to evaluate those videos and found them to be completely inconsistent with those injuries," Zaino said.
Dow's attorney, Larry Vogelman, did not dispute the request of a high $500,000 cash bail against his client Monday.
Dow's probable cause hearing was set for Dec. 10 in Plaistow.
As part of both sets of bail conditions, Linscott and Dow are not to have contact with each other or Linscott's son if the high cash bails are met.
Multipe sightings were reported in Massachusetts days after they went on the run. The case received national attention—something Rockingham County Attorney Jim Reams said led to tips from the public that helped police track the pair down.
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