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Local News

December 5, 2013

Vehicular homicide charged in May fatality

GLOUCESTER — When a vehicle struck and killed a 29-year-old Salem man in a Gloucester parking lot in May after a heated argument between the driver and the victim, police interviewed the man who had allegedly been behind the wheel, then let him walk when the DA’s office filed no charges.

Now, more than six months later, officers have made an arrest in the case after the driver — who now lives in Peabody — failed to show up for an arraignment on the motor vehicular homicide by negligent operation charge leveled against him on Halloween by Gloucester police.

Arresting officers brought James Hayes, 43, upstairs to Gloucester District Court Tuesday after booking his arrest, and Judge Joseph Jennings ordered Hayes held in Middleton Jail on $50,000 cash bail.

In a court document, police ticked off the reasons for a high bail, noting the nature of the circumstances of the offense, the potential penalty Hayes could face for the charge and Hayes’ record of convictions. Officers also scrawled additional reasons in an “other” box, adding “assaultive behavior,” noting that Hayes has faced 12 charges of driving with revoked or suspended licenses and that Hayes had allegedly “back(ed) over (the) victim after first running over him.”

According to police, Michael J. Linscott of Salem, the man killed in the May 18 incident on Lepage Lane in the Heights at Cape Ann housing complex, had been in a dating relationship with the mother of Hayes’ child. State police reported that Linscott was unconscious, gurgling from the mouth and bleeding heavily after being struck by the vehicle. Linscott was not breathing but holding a pulse as police attempted resuscitation; he was pronounced dead at Addison Gilbert Hospital in the early predawn hours.

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.

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