SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

October 23, 2012

Man on trial for 8th DUI charge

Paroled killer blames new blood pressure medication for his erratic driving

SALEM — A paroled killer with seven prior convictions for driving under the influence told Salem District Court jurors yesterday that he was “frozen” to the steering wheel as his car slowly veered back and forth across Route 128 north one evening in February.

“I couldn’t pull over,” Andrew Millyan, 56, testified. “I thought I was a goner. I thought I had a stroke or something.”

But, prosecutor Jane Prince later pointed out, Millyan was able to stop when he saw the blue lights of a Manchester-by-the-Sea police cruiser behind him — some 20 miles after a Salem State University student first spotted him driving erratically in rush-hour traffic on Feb. 16.

“When I seen lights,” Millyan began to explain, before pausing. “How am I going to say this ... when I seen the blue lights, I was already stopping.”

Not according to Manchester-by-Sea Patrolman Kevin Gordon, who had followed Millyan’s Ford Taurus for about a mile as it straddled the fog line along the side of the highway.

Prosecutors allege that Millyan, of North Grafton, was impaired by the use of Percocet, one of a lengthy list of drugs, both prescription and illegal, found in a urine sample he provided after his arrest.

Millyan and his lawyer, Clint Muche, contend that it was simply a bad reaction to a new blood pressure medication he had started taking a day earlier, one that came with a warning from his doctor about potential dizziness.

Under questioning by Muche, Millyan described how he’d taken the blood pressure medication the day before, then forgot until later in the day on Feb. 16.

Millyan testified that as he was leaving his workplace in Framingham, where he had gone to pick up a paycheck, he began to feel “dizzy” and rested in his car, then decided to head to his sister’s home in Wilmington.

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