Andrew Millyan, the 55-year-old South Grafton man arrested on Route 128 in Manchester-by-the-Sea a week ago tonight, is being held without bail until tomorrow, when he will face a dangerousness hearing in Salem District Court.
That's good news for the public, which can be sure at least until then that this walking, driving time bomb won't be on the highways or anywhere else before then.
Meanwhile, judges, parole officials and the Registry of Motor Vehicles should explain why Millyan was free in the first place, let alone behind the wheel of a car with an apparently valid driver's license until he was stopped by a Manchester patrolman near the School Street exit. One thing for sure, state Sen. Bruce Tarr, Rep. Brad Hill and other lawmakers have a new poster boy for their effort to tighten parole, probation and sentencing statutes in Massachusetts.
Millyan is a paroled killer who's also racked up seven drunken-driving convictions and is now facing an eighth charge of operating under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol after his escapade last Thursday night. That's when he drove his Ford Taurus some 20 miles up Route 128 from at least Wakefield, where a caller first contacted police, to Manchester with no lights, banging into a number of guardrails along the way. Police say they found four bags of marijuana on his person and he failed multiple field sobriety tests.
But Millyan's history shows that the state's dysfunctional criminal justice and tracking systems broke down long before the suspect began his wild ride. Reportedly a longtime member of the Devil's Disciples biker gang, Millyan was convicted of first-degree murder in a 1981 shooting inside a Revere nightspot. Court records indicate he walked in with a shotgun looking for members of a rival gang, then gunned down an innocent bystander who wasn't part of any gang, but was simply waiting for his girlfriend, a bartender, to finish her shift.
Millyan served 20 years for that crime. But his conviction was subsequently reduced to second-degree murder, and he was paroled in 2002. Now, 10 years later, he apparently had a valid license despite the fact police had reported to the RMV that Millyan was an "immediate threat" based on his previous drunken-driving convictions.
Those driving in the vicinity of Millyan last Thursday got lucky. Manchester police stopped him and, with state police, got him off the road before anyone was injured — or worse. But how many Millyans are still out there thanks to our state's broken criminal justice and tracking systems?