PELHAM — Todd Spain Jr., a former youth minister at Crossroads Church indicted for assaulting his wife, avoided a jury trial scheduled to start last week as his attorney and a prosecutor explore settlement options.
Deputy Carroll County Attorney Steven Briden filed paperwork on Feb. 19, the day before trial was set to begin, to inform a judge that both parties would like to participate in a settlement conference.
Briden explained that settlement conferences are frequently “a useful tool in trying to find a resolution to a case without having to put everyone through the difficulties of a trial.”
Briden, Spain Jr. and his attorney Kirsten Wilson will meet with retired Judge Peter Fauver, who will evaluate the case and try to see if a plea resolution can be found without going to trial.
They are scheduled to meet March 4, according to court documents. If a decision is not made that day, a trial will begin soon after.
Spain Jr., 27, is accused of coaxing his wife to a ledge and hitting her in the back of the head with a rock during a hike in northern New Hampshire on July 6, 2019, according to an affidavit written by Carroll County Sheriff's Detective Brian King.
King said in his report that Spain's wife called police for help from the Boulder Loop Trail in Albany, New Hampshire, at about 3 p.m. She told police that she would be running down the mountain to meet emergency responders.
"She stated that she and Todd got into an argument after he admitted to having an affair," King's report states. "When she turned to leave the mountain, she was struck in the back of the head with a rock. She said that she fell to the ground, and that Todd fell on top of her."
According to the report, "She said that she had to kick and punch him to get him off of her. She suffered apparent minor injuries. She was transported to Memorial Hospital in Conway, New Hampshire."
At the hospital, she told police she was "in fear of her life.”
Spain has been out on bail after paying $5,000. He has not been employed at Crossroads Church since two days after his arrest, though a statement from the church denied Spain’s departure having anything to do with the criminal allegations.
Spain's father, Todd Spain Sr., is the lead pastor at the church.