SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

May 15, 2014

Judge gives mom her fourth second chance

BEVERLY — A Hamilton mother who nearly struck a police cruiser head-on while driving with her 5-year-old son in the backseat one morning last October was given a fourth chance at avoiding a conviction yesterday.

Employees at Stop & Shop on Enon Street (Route 1A) in Beverly called police on the morning of Oct. 12 because they suspected that a customer, later identified as Anne-Marie Fischer, 27, was impaired.

Police spotted Fischer’s Ford Taurus on Tozer Road soon after the call — when she forced an officer to swerve to avoid being struck while she was straddling the center line.

Fischer, 27, of Savoy Road, South Hamilton, admitted yesterday that had she gone to trial there would have been evidence to find her guilty of child endangerment, driving after license suspension and driving to endanger, as well as responsible for failing to stay within marked lanes.

Noting that Fischer has received three prior continuations without finding on drug charges in the past, prosecutor Meagan Buckley urged a Salem District Court judge to impose a guilty finding.

Buckley told Judge Michael Lauranzano that after a police officer decided to pull the vehicle into a nearby parking lot until it could be picked up by a family member, he noticed a strong smell of marijuana and a smoking pipe with marijuana inside it in the console.

Fischer, who told the judge that she suffers from several mental illnesses, and whose attorney also suggested she has neurological problems, denied being on any medication that day.

Police did not charge her with driving while under the influence of any drugs or alcohol that day.

Steven Reardon, who represented Fischer in court, said his client recently graduated with an associates degree in business and is hoping to have custody of her child returned to her soon.

The lawyer urged another continuation without a finding to spare her a record.

Lauranzano agreed to the request, meaning that if she complies with conditions that include attending a driver safety course and a brain injury awareness program, the charges will be dismissed in a year.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.

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