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Lawyer: Crystal meth was driving the car, not man accused of running over his wife

By MARK HAYWARD
New Hampshire Union Leader

May 24. 2018 2:01PM
JASON ALLEYNE 



Two tire tracks show the spot where a Nissan Sentra came to rest Monday with Saturn Alleyne trapped beneath at the Irving Circle K on Route 3A north in Bow. (DOUG ALDEN/UNION LEADER FILE)

CONCORD — Facing an attempted murder charge, a man accused of running his wife down with a car last August claims he was so high on crystal methamphetamine that he shouldn’t be convicted of trying to kill her.

Jason Alleyne, 30, of 20 Allison St., Concord, had not slept for days, was psychotic, distraught, suicidal and high when he ran over Saturn Alleyne on Aug. 27, said his attorney, public defender Daniel Swegart.

“It wasn’t Jason driving that car, it was crystal meth driving that car,” Swegart said Wednesday during closing arguments at Merrimack County Superior Court.

The assault took place at the Irving Circle K truck stop in Bow. Horrified customers looked on and then tried to lift the car — Saturn Alleyne’s 2001 Nissan Sentra — off her as her husband ran off.

His trial started a week ago. Alleyne is facing a slew of charges, including attempted murder, first-degree assault, second-degree assault, seven misdemeanor assaults, criminal threatening and criminal mischief.

The prosecutor in the case agrees that Alleyne was high on meth. But Assistant Merrimack County Attorney David Rotman said that did not prevent Alleyne from making coherent choices and decisions.

Those include: threatening his wife if she continued to complain about his assaults and then going through with the threat; planning to junk a car to get money for drugs; tracking his wife down after she drove off without him; using turn signals when driving; steering his car around a telephone pole and accelerating the engine when running down his wife.

“He’s a pretty good driver for someone who doesn’t understand what’s going on because he’s on meth,” Rotman said. “Though drugs or alcohol may lead sometimes to bad choices and bad decisions, they’re still our decisions,” he said.

The more serious charges of attempted murder and first-degree assault hinge on whether the jury finds that Alleyne acted on purpose — the highest level of mental state that prosecutors must prove to win conviction.

Swegart urged the jury to reject those charges and find Alleyne guilty of second-degree felony assault. That charge involves acting in a reckless state of mind. The lowest degree of mental state, recklessness, assumes that Alleyne realized the riskiness of his behavior, disregarded the risk and acted nonetheless.

The four days of trial included a video that shows Alleyne at the wheel of the car that pursues and runs over Saturn Alleyne. Testimony came from witnesses at the Circle K, the Alleynes’ fellow drug users and an expert witness, who said that while someone can still function on meth, the drug impairs decision-making and can create psychosis.

A meth user herself, Saturn Alleyne has known Jason for seven years. She described him as psychotic, delusional, frenzied and possessing “crazy strength” the day of the assault, Swegart noted.

“Did he desire a specific result, did he desire the death of his wife?” Swegart asked the jury. “You don’t know what was in Jason’s mind.”

mhayward@unionleader.com


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