EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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September 25, 2013

Bail set for woman charged in bicyclists' deaths

SEABROOK - Bail was set at $50,000 cash or surety for a local teen accused of killing two bicyclists and injuring two more Saturday morning on a Route 1A bridge between Hampton and Seabrook.

Nineteen-year-old Darriean Hess was arrested Tuesday at her home and charged with two counts each of negligent homicide and second degree assault during her arraignment this morning at Seabrook Circuit Court. Each charge is a Class B felony, carrying a maximum sentence of seven years in jail and fines up to $4,000, per charge.

Pamela Wells, 60, of South Hamilton, and Elise Bouchard, 52, of Danvers, were killed in the accident. Uwe Uhmeyer, 60, of Essex, and Margo Heigh, 54, of Danvers, were both injured and transported to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.

The Washington Street resident remained silent during her roughly 10-minute arraignment via video conference as prosecutors asked Judge Mark Weaver for $50,000 cash bail due to the seriousness of her alleged crimes. Hess, who didn't have a license at the time of the crash, is currently being held at Rockingham County Jail in Brentwood.

In the audience, her brothers and sister watched as Hess' court appointed attorney argued for bail to be set at $15,000. Also in the audience were at least two friends of a victim who could be heard commenting when Hess' attorney tried to paint his client in a more favorable light. Weaver sided with prosecutors and agreed to $50,000 cash or surety bail. She is due back in court Oct. 8 for probable cause hearing.

Due to the seriousness of the charges, Hess is likely to indicted by a Rockingham County grand jury and face trial in superior court.

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