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Sunapee man apologizes for deaths of Vermont couple

Special to the Union Leader

April 23. 2014 5:54PM

LEBANON — Robert J. Dellinger, a Sunapee man charged with two counts of murder in last December’s highway deaths of a young Upper Valley couple during what prosecutors say was Dellinger’s failed suicide attempt, apologized profusely Wednesday to the victims’ families.

“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.”

Dellinger’s apology was contained in a news release issued Wednesday by the 53-year-old former Fortune 500 executive’s attorney, Peter Decato of Lebanon. It was in response to three Grafton County Superior Court indictments against Dellinger that were made public late Tuesday.

The grand jury charged Dellinger — who is being held without bail at the Grafton County Jail in North Haverhill — with two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Timmons, 29, and Murphy, 24, both of Wilder, Vt. Grand jurors also indicted him on a count of second-degree assault against Murphy, who was 8 months pregnant.

The grand jury found cause to charge Dellinger for abdominal injuries to Murphy that resulted in the couple’s unborn baby girl’s fractured skull, which in turn caused the “stillbirth of the fetus,” according to the indictment.

There is no provision in New Hampshire law to bring a homicide charge in the death of an unborn child.

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office has said Dellinger was attempting suicide on Dec. 7, 2013, on Interstate 89 in Lebanon by deliberately driving his pickup truck across the median at a high rate of speed and into oncoming traffic. He collided with the vehicle Timmons and Murphy were in, killing them.

Steve Gordon of the Shaheen and Gordon law firm in Concord is also representing Dellinger. Decato declined comment Wednesday when reached by phone. He referred instead to his statement contained in the release.

“As this is a criminal case, we will likely make no further public comment. Instead, we will allow the full facts of this tragic accident to be developed in court. We expect that once all the facts are known and considered that justice will be done with the acquittal of Mr. Dellinger of all criminal charges.”

Reached at her home in Canaan Wednesday, Deborah Blanchard, Timmons’ mother, said she did not wish to discuss Dellinger’s apology.

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