Pelham man charged with assaulting wife on mountain

Todd Spain Jr.

PELHAM — A student ministry leader at Crossroads Church is facing assault charges after police say he coaxed his wife to a ledge during a hike and later hit her in the back of the head with a rock, according to court documents.

Pelham resident Todd Spain Jr., 26, was indicted in Carroll County Superior Court last month for second-degree assault, according to a court clerk. He is also charged with two misdemeanor counts of domestic violence simple assault, the clerk said.

Attempts to contact Crossroads Church, including Spain's father, Pastor Todd Spain Sr., were unsuccessful. The church's website lists the younger Spain as a contact person for information about Sunday night ministries for middle and high school-aged kids.

A probable cause affidavit written by Carroll County Sheriff's Detective Brian King says the assault took place Saturday, July 6. 

King said in his report that Spain's wife, Molly Spain, 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 affidavit, "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," according to the affidavit.

The affidavit states Spain kept insisting that his wife go with him to the edge of one of the cliffs along the trail.

According to the affidavit, the victim said, "I thought he was going to push me off the edge and kill me."

She also told police Spain kept putting his arm around her neck and asking what she would do if he choked her, but he never actually did.

Spain's suggestion to go on a hike was odd from the get-go, according to the affidavit.

"Todd is not active, and has never wanted to hike or do anything outside in the past," King reported the wife saying.

The victim was granted an emergency restraining order, according to the document.

King wrote that Spain admitted to police that he hit his wife in the head with the rock and gave written and audio statements to that effect.

Court documents say Spain was released from Carrol County Jail after paying $5,000 cash bail. He is expected back in court for a status conference hearing Sept. 19.

Attorney Kristen Wilson, representing Spain, refused to comment for this article.