DANVERS — The lawyer for a paroled killer now facing his eighth charge of driving under the influence argued yesterday that Andrew Millyan was not high, but suffering from a bad reaction to a new blood pressure drug.
But Salem District Court Judge Michael Lauranzano found that Millyan poses too great a risk to public safety to release under any conditions and granted a prosecutor's motion to detain him without bail pending trial.
Millyan, 55, of South Grafton, was arrested Feb. 16 after traveling some 20 miles north on Route 128, causing a severe backup of rush-hour traffic, prosecutor Jane Prince told the judge.
Several other drivers called state police to report that Millyan was driving without headlights and veering back and forth across the road, bouncing off the guardrails at least twice.
Prince said Millyan created "quite a scene" on the highway. Manchester-by-the-Sea police finally managed to stop him in their town around 6:20 p.m.
State Trooper Peter Sherber said in his report that Millyan was sweating heavily, with twitching eyelids and a lethargic demeanor. He failed field sobriety tests. A police officer trained as a drug recognition expert concluded that he was under the influence of drugs.
Prince cited Millyan's seven-page criminal record, including seven drunken-driving convictions between 1975 and 1979, his 20 years in prison for murder, and a two-year sentence for marijuana possession with intent to distribute after his release on parole.
Millyan was originally convicted of first-degree murder after firing a shotgun inside a Revere Beach bar in 1981, killing an innocent bystander who was playing pool. The conviction was reduced to second-degree murder, however, in part due to his use of alcohol before the incident, and he was paroled after serving 20 years.
There have also been a string of accidents, including three in which Millyan was deemed at fault, since his release, the prosecutor noted.