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.


  • Fugitives in Child Abuse Case Coming Back to NH
  • 'Suspicion' That Fugitive Couple Had Help
  • Plaistow Couple Being Held in Protective Custody
  • CAUGHT: Plaistow Couple Wanted for Child Abuse Caught in Florida
  • Alleged Baby-Burning Couple Continue to Evade Police
  • Mistaken Identity Leads to Arrest in Fugitive Couple Case
  • County Attorney: 'Surrender Yourselves'
  • Police Hunting for Couple Who Allegedly Burned Son

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andy dow December 03, 2012 at 04:16 PM
I hope the whole truth comes out. I wish nothing but the best for the boy and pray for a speedy recovery. The press sensationalised this case based on police released partial information. The two ran that makes them look guilty but let's hope the truth is the end result. justice is served based on facts not accusations. the assault charges were filed before the two were questioned and based only on a grandmothers testimony who has been restrained from seeing the child. The grandmother who isn't allowed to see the child by the courts unless supervised on closed circuit television. The dcyf has custody. The grandmother said she never liked roland and admitted as much to the press. Her story has changesd so many times
andy dow December 03, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Her story has changed so many times since she was first interviewed. Her son was james dad. The same one who commuted suicide with a heroin overdose. The child had a history of seizures explaining the bruises as most 3 year old children do have bruises. The injuries were first reported as burns over most of the body to as little as on the wrist and hand. The police have prior video from the grandmother of james having a seizure in a bathtub prior to his severe head injury. It is also not told roland and jessica were at the hospital for 2 days with james and present for the first operation. The police released bits and pieces of the information to make the public see a totally different picture saying that they just dumped off james and left. The police made assault charges on roland after they fled and based them on incomplete evidence and based only on the grandmothers testimony, the grandmother who is restrained from physical conduct. It seems telling the grandmother is not allowed custody of her grandson under the circumstances. The only option to explain this is void of any credibility that the authorities are protecting the child to make it look like they are protecting the child from being influenced as the grandmother started her accusations to the press on day one from the steps of the hospital. The problem with that is she already saw him. We feel that the grandmother made it clear and actually said to the press that james told her roland hit him.
andy dow December 03, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Then later changed it to he told her he was slapped on the bottom and hit in the head. The grandmother had motive to lie as she was restrained from seeing the child and roland refusing her to come in his home. The police elevated the charges because both took off and they needed a federal warrant to get them on a federal fugitive list. They both were stupid but the mother left her child and she is responsible for the boy. To press only misdemeanor charges on her is crazy. To blame roland was irresponsible to the local police without a full investigation. Running makes them both look guilty but doesn't make them guilty. They truly are guilty of running and of being maybe scared and now they must answer. I just ask the public to consider the story isn't always what the police claim. My prayers are for the baby and hopefully the legal system will get to the facts and reassess the charges and then a court can decide what actually happened. By no means if a child is injures out of malice or a moment of anger can we justify or condone it. I ask for justice for the boy and the public's support of him and patience to wait until we find out what actually happened.
andy dow December 03, 2012 at 05:02 PM
I want to make sure everyone knows the grandmother saw the child in the hospital and all she had to say is say roland did it or you won't see mommy. The case was a simple domestic violence case until the police based and investigation on the already bias grandmother who couldn't see the child. I feel for everyone involved. I just hope the police are properly going about this. I respect the hard job they do and only ask for a proper outcome whatever it is, justice for the boy.
Shorty December 03, 2012 at 05:04 PM
I posted this under the wrong area earlier. There had been mentioned that CPS / DSS had been involve with the mother before. It better not be true. If DSS or CPS had known for a long time there were problems, then where is their accountability? The Social Services, if in fact they had been aware of problems, should also be charged with child endangerment....and FIRED! It is so disgusting...so horrible...
Tim McCarthy December 03, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Bail? Why would any judge let them loose if they can make bail. Justice is a joke if they make bail. Though they probably won't it is the principle of the matter! So many locals are totally upset so they are probably safer behind bars!
Andrea Dow-McLean December 03, 2012 at 06:55 PM
They set bail because they don't have enough evidence to actually hold them without bail...that's how this works...
Buford T Justice December 03, 2012 at 07:00 PM
You cant silence Buford T Justice!!! Roland is a loser and will get whats coming to him. His cell mates will do what he did to that poor child and then some. I guarantee!!!
Mabel Cummings December 03, 2012 at 11:43 PM
I'm sure that Andy Dow's comments have nothing to do with the fact that he is related to Roland Dow, just an observation made while reading his comments. He must be privy to police info that the rest of us don't know. Who really cares if the baby's grandmother does not like Roland, looks like she has good reason for that. Innocent people don't run leaving a 3 year old severely injured in the hospital, these 2 are not children(just acting that way) they are both in their 20's. What does the cause of death of little James' father when the baby was a few months old have to do with what Linscott and Dow did?
josh December 05, 2012 at 09:58 AM
Buttom line they are both just as guilty....one of them knew what was happening and could have prevented all of this. Do you think Dow is gonna run from the Marshalls for two weeks for something he did not do? Did he looked shocked on the camera monitor court tv appearance? She makes me just as sick because that little boy looked at his mother as a source of love and safety and jessica linscott failed her son in the worst way. This whole thing is so sad. Dow shouldn't be in a rush to get out because the street verdict is in and it reads guilty. Someone is gonna hurt that guy in or out of prison.


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