EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


December 4, 2013

Vehicle homicide charged in May fatality

When a vehicle struck and killed a 29-year-old Salem man in a Gloucester parking lot in May after a heated argument between the driver and the victim, police interviewed the man who had allegedly been behind the wheel, then let him walk when the DA’s office filed no charges.

Now, more than six months later, officers have made an arrest in the case after the driver — who moved from Haverhill to Peabody — failed to show up for an arraignment on the motor vehicular homicide by negligent operation charge leveled against him on Halloween by Gloucester police.

Arresting officers brought James Hayes, 43, upstairs to Gloucester District Court Tuesday after booking his arrest, and Judge Joseph Jennings ordered Hayes held in Middleton Jail on $50,000 cash bail..

According to police, Michael J. Linscott of Salem, the man killed in the May 18 incident on Lepage Lane in the Heights at Cape Ann housing complex, had been in a dating relationship with the mother of Hayes’ child. State police reported that Linscott was unconscious, gurgling from the mouth and bleeding heavily after being struck with the vehicle.

Linscott was not breathing but holding a pulse as police attempted resuscitation; he was pronounced dead at Addison Gilbert Hospital in the early predawn hours.

In the police interview immediately following the 1 a.m. incident, Hayes said Linscott had “lunged” at the open driver’s-side window of his vehicle before he was hit by the vehicle.

“Hayes then stated he panicked and backed over Linscott,” state trooper Brandon R. Arakelian wrote in his report.

Gloucester police Detective Sean Conners, now a sergeant in the department, wrote in his report that when Hayes backed up off Linscott’s body, he caused the “serious injuries.” An autopsy of Linscott’s body conducted at the state’s chief medical examiner’s office showed injuries “consistent with being run over by a car,” determining the cause of death as blunt trauma to the head and torso.

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