Lawyer wants parole revoked following alleged attack
A Manchester man remains free on parole despite being arrested last month for allegedly beating the same ex-girlfriend he went to prison for victimizing in Nashua nine years ago, outraging her attorney, who believes his parole should be revoked.
Jerry Millard, 37, was released on parole two years ago after serving the minimum six years of a 6- to 12-year sentence for burglary with intent to assault his ex-girlfriend, Katie Rollins, in 2004.
Millard, who insists he is now the innocent victim of a child custody battle with the woman, was also convicted last year while on parole for negligent driving and criminal mischief for crashing his car into a Manchester house on May 5, 2012, and fleeing, then telling police the car had been stolen.
Millard later confessed and told police he only lied because he was on probation. He received a 12-month deferred jail sentence, according to police and court records.
It was a brutal attack in 2004, according to the woman's attorney, David A. Vicinanzo. Millard beat and kicked her in front of their young child and bit her face while shaking his head back and forth like a dog that won't let go of a piece of meat, Vicinanzo said.
The more recent assault allegedly occurred Jan. 22 in Millard's Manchester apartment. That, too, was violent, according to Vicinanzo, a former top federal prosecutor, who represents Rollins pro bono as an attorney with the Nixon Peabody law firm.
Vicinanzo said Millard punched her in the stomach when they got into an argument.
"He then choked her, squeezed her around the neck, preventing her from breathing. Millard then picked up a chair and threw it at her," Vicinanzo wrote in a letter to Parole Board Chairman Donna Sytek, which included a 60-page packet of public police and court records detailing Millard's past criminal charges and convictions.
Vicinanzo sent copies of the letter and packet to Attorney General Joseph Foster and a dozen other attorneys and law enforcement personnel in communities where Millard is known to authorities.
The June 18 letter to Sytek asked the board to hold a parole revocation hearing and send Millard back to prison to finish the six remaining years of his maximum sentence on the burglary conviction, if the board finds him in violation, although Sytek said the setback for parole violators is only 90 days.
Millard told the Sunday News he is innocent, that he was just days away from getting custody of their daughter when he was arrested last month.
"I didn't do it. I didn't do this," Millard said in a brief telephone interview.
He has attended New England Tractor Trailer School full time for the past five months, Millard said, reluctant to discuss his legal situation.
"Everything goes sour every time I open my mouth," Millard said.
But he was clear that he believes he is the victim in this case.
"It's all about custody of my daughter," Millard said.
"Vicinanzo takes over and I'm seven days away from getting custody of my kid," Millard said.
Millard declined to discuss the indictment that brought him notoriety at a young age - which was dropped before trial - accusing him of first-degree murder in the brutal beating death of one of two elderly Hudson sisters, Loretta Allen, 76, and Doris Bean, 81, who were murdered in 1995.
The New Hampshire Union Leader reported that charges against Millard, then 21, who was accused of killing Bean, were dropped in August 1997 when prosecutors said the state needed to strengthen its case against him. He was serving four to eight years in state prison for an unrelated robbery at knifepoint of a Texaco station in Nashua when the murder charge was dropped, according to the newspaper.
Charles Dorval, who was described as Millard's housemate at the time, was convicted of killing Allen while committing felony burglary and is serving life in prison.
Bean's murder is listed on the state police cold case website, which mentions Dorval's conviction, but adds police do not believe he acted alone.
"Because I didn't do it," Millard said of the murder. Dorval was not his friend or housemate, Millard said.
Attorney General Foster on Friday said he hadn't seen Vicinanzo's letter and would look into that matter.
First Assistant Hillsborough County Attorney Maureen O'Neil confirmed Millard was indicted in June on a charge of second-degree assault and simple assault for "knowingly engaging in the strangulation of K.R. The simple assault alleges he knowingly caused unprivileged contact with K.R. when he punched her in the stomach."
Bail hearing scheduled
O'Neil said Millard will be arraigned and have a bail hearing Friday at 9 a.m. in Hillsborough County Superior Court in Manchester.
In her sworn statement to obtain a restraining order against Millard, Rollins said she maintained contact with Millard because he is the father of her daughter. The day of the January assault, Rollins said Millard went to her house in Nashua saying he was going to repay several hundred dollars she had loaned him.
Instead, he drove her to his Manchester apartment, where the beating took place, she wrote.
Sytek said the parole officer notified the board of Millard's June arrest as required, but said the officer recommended allowing the case to proceed in court rather than hold a parole revocation hearing.
The parole officer told the board a judge would have set a higher bail if he thought Millard was a threat to the woman, Sytek said. Vicinanzo found the claim ridiculous. Bail was set at $10,000 cash or surety, so Millard would have had to post only $1,000.
"The judge didn't set bail," Vicinanzo said. "A bail bondsman did."
The officer also cited "mitigating factors" such as the woman waiting five months to report the crime and noted that a lawyer was representing her in a child custody fight, Sytek said.
Vicinanzo said he was shocked the officer and parole board would think his client might file charges simply to gain an edge in a custody battle.
"I cant believe it. It's 2013 and we're actually hearing outdated assumptions being made," Vicinanzo said.
His client did hesitate at first about following through with police.
"Because she is all alone in the world with no support and fearful of her life," Vicinanzo said.
But Sytek said the board agreed with the parole officer to let the matter play out in court.
"(Millard) is reporting as scheduled and apparently had no issues," Sytek said. "An arrest alone isn't enough to revoke them."
The officer didn't seek an arrest warrant for Millard, Sytek said. "We trust their judgment. They know their (parolees). That was his decision and we agreed with it."
Sytek said the board wasn't notified about Millard's conviction last year, but wasn't certain whether the officer was required to do so.
Sytek, a former lawmaker who served as House speaker, was an architect of the truth-in-sentencing law that passed in the 1980s mandating every convict serve at least the minimum sentence before becoming eligible for parole. In New Hampshire, convicts are usually sentenced to a range of years from minimum to maximum, usually twice as many years, such as six to 12 years.
"A sentence of six to 12 years means at least six years will be served behind the walls and then the balance of the sentence spent on parole," Sytek said.
Vicinanzo said he thought the maximum sentence could be imposed if convicts seriously violate the conditions of parole, that having so much time hanging over their heads helped keep them on the right path.
"It is disingenuous. Most people believe parole is premised on strict good behavior. If they engage in bad behavior, they go back and finish their sentence. That doesn't appear to be the case," Vicinanzo said.
"I think the system needs fresh scrutiny."