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Massachusetts man pleads guilty to killing pedestrian in Lincoln

Union Leader Correspondent

December 11. 2017 8:41PM
Sheriffs take Paul F. Larkin III into custody on Monday afternoon, moments after Larkin pleaded guilty to driving the car that struck and killed a pedestrian in Lincoln in 2016. (John Koziol/Correspondent)

NORTH HAVERHILL — A Massachusetts man pleaded guilty Monday to aggravated DWI and negligent homicide in the death of a pedestrian in Lincoln nearly two years ago.

Paul F. Larkin III, 30, of East Bridgewater, Mass., will serve 1 to 3 years in New Hampshire State Prison pursuant to the sentences handed down by Justice Peter Bornstein in Grafton County Superior Court Monday.

Prosecutor Viktoriya Kovalenko told Bornstein that the state was prepared to show at trial that Larkin had been drinking alcohol before striking Paul A. Gelinas, 57, of Lunenberg, Mass., with his 2010 Dodge Challenger around 5:45 p.m. on Jan. 23, 2016, as Gelinas and several friends were walking westbound on Main Street to see the Ice Castle at the Hobo Railroad.

Kovalenko said on the day of the incident, Larkin had come up from the Bay State and went skiing at Loon Mountain, where he admitted consuming three beers and later, at dinner, had two more.

Had Larkin gone to trial, the state would have introduced his statement saying that “he did not see Mr. Gelinas until the collision,” said Kovalenko. She recommended that Bornstein impose a prison term of 1 to 3 years for the aggravated DWI and of 3½ to 7 years for the negligent homicide, all of it suspended for 10 years good behavior.

Other terms of the sentences require Larkin to perform 1,500 hours of community service, which he will do at a shelter in the Boston area; to have no contact with the Gelinas family; to make restitution of nearly $26,000; to lose his driving privileges for 18 months; and, when he is able to drive, to have an alcohol interlock device installed in his vehicle for 12 months.

All four of Gelinas’ siblings made victim-impact statements, starting with his sister Michelle, an ER nurse, who told the court that the New Hampshire Medical Examiner urged her family not to have an open-casket funeral for her brother due to the “catastrophic” injuries he had suffered.

“No amount of time is long enough” for Larkin, she said, before reading a letter from her brother Jack Gelinas in which he said holidays since Paul’s death have been filled with “ongoing pain and suffering.”

When Bornstein asked Michelle Gelinas whether she agreed with Larkin’s sentence, she said she was “accepting it” because it would at least be “something.”

Dana Gelinas said the world is “worse off” without his older brother, adding he hoped Larkin was remorseful and that as he performed his community service, he’d have time to reflect.

Chris Gelinas said after waiting 22 months, the plea was “falling a bit short of justice being served.”

Courts North Haverhill

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