DANVERS — A paroled killer who's also racked up seven drunk-driving convictions managed to drive at least 20 miles up Route 128, bouncing off guardrails and without headlights, during the rush-hour commute Thursday evening, police said.
Andrew J. Millyan, 55, of South Grafton, is now facing his eighth charge of driving under the influence, this time, police say, of drugs. He's being held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing Feb. 24.
State police received numerous calls from other drivers on Route 128 about a black Ford Taurus driving without headlights and veering all over the road. A woman first spotted the car in Wakefield, and told police she saw it hit the median guardrail at least twice and nearly strike an exit sign.
A Manchester-by-the-Sea patrolman caught up to the Taurus near the School Street exit and stopped the car, which bore a handicap placard, according to state police Trooper Peter Sherber's report.
Millyan offered different accounts of where he was going, telling one officer he was heading to Wilmington and another he was going to Groveland — neither of which is anywhere near Manchester.
Officers also noticed him trying to stuff something into his jacket — they later determined it was four bags of marijuana.
Millyan was described as sweating, with twitching eyelids and a slow, lethargic demeanor. He failed several field sobriety tests, including missing his nose when asked to touch it.
A Nahant police officer was brought in to conduct a drug recognition evaluation and concluded that Millyan was under the influence of a narcotic.
Millyan's record dates back more than 40 years, to when he was 14, and includes a significant number of alcohol- and drug-related convictions, according to court papers. Said to be a longtime member of the Devil's Disciples motorcycle gang, he was convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting of an innocent bystander inside a Revere bar, the Sandbar Lounge, in 1981.
According to court documents in the murder case, he walked into the bar with a shotgun, looking for members of the rival Hell's Angels who had beaten one of his associates, then fired, striking Dana Hill, who was playing pool while waiting for his girlfriend, a bartender, to finish her shift. Hill was not a member of any gang, but was simply in the line of fire.
Millyan's conviction was later reduced to second-degree murder, and he was paroled in 2002 after serving 20 years in prison.
In addition to eighth-offense drunken driving, Millyan was charged with driving to endanger, failing to stay within marked lanes, a lights violation and possession of marijuana over an ounce. He pleaded not guilty to all of the charges at his arraignment in Salem District Court.
He apparently had a valid license, though police have filed an "immediate threat" report with the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
During an inventory search of the Taurus, police noted an empty box that once held military ammunition.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis may be reached at 978-338-2521 or at email@example.com.