GLOUCESTER — A man who escaped criminal charges for almost half a year in a case of alleged motor vehicular homicide outside Pond View apartments in Gloucester returned to Gloucester District Court for the second time, this time in shackles for a routine appearance yesterday.
James Hayes, 43, who was listed as living in Haverhill at the time of the May 18 incident but has since moved to Peabody, was accused of driving his vehicle over Michael Linscott, 29, of Salem after a heated argument, then backing over the man’s body.
Gloucester Police took Hayes to the station in the hours after the incident, but the DA’s office did not file any charges at that time.
After a clerk magistrate found probable cause for the vehicular homicide charge, police quietly filed a criminal complaint against Hayes on Halloween, He was arrested after failing to appear in court Dec. 3.
He has been held in Middleton Jail on $50,000 bail since his arrest.
When police escorted Hayes into the courtroom yesterday, he held a hand over his face and shrugged his body behind his attorney, Tom O’Shea. Lawyers on the case set Hayes’ next court date for Jan. 17.
O’Shea noted that he would like his own experts to review the information from the police report and collision reconstruction evidence. Assistant District Attorney Nathaniel Sears told Judge Joseph Jennings that he is preparing to hand the case off to Assistant District Attorney John Brennan, who will likely resume work on the case in Salem Superior Court.
If Hayes meets the terms of his bail and is released from jail, a stipulation of his release notes that he must stay away from the victim’s family and all witnesses except the mother of his children.
Linscott had been dating the mother of Hayes’ child.
In the police interview immediately following the 1 a.m. incident, Hayes said he had initially accelerated and struck Linscott as the man “lunged” at the open driver’s-side window of his vehicle.