Trial postponed in DWI case against Deerfield legislator

  • Deerfield state representative James Spillane was arrested on May 4 in Pembroke and charged with DWI. File

Monitor staff
Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Deerfield state representative accused of drunken driving in Pembroke this past spring likely won’t stand trial until early 2018.

A two-hour trial in the case against James Spillane, a third-term Republican legislator, was scheduled for Nov. 16 in Hooksett’s district court. However, a judge recently granted a county prosecutor’s request to postpone the bench trial because a state witness is unavailable until January.

An exact trial date has not yet been set.

Spillane, who represents Candia, Deerfield and Nottingham in the State House, was arrested May 4 and charged with two counts of driving while intoxicated. He also faces open container and yellow line violations.

Pembroke police Chief Dwayne Gilman said police received a report of a car swerving over the yellow line several times in the town. Police responded to Academy Road and pulled over Spillane about 11 p.m. Gilman said officers found an open container of alcohol in the car.

Spillane, 48, was released on $2,000 personal recognizance following his arrest May 4, a House session day. In his mug shot, he is seen wearing his House name badge.

Spillane has had prior run-ins with the law. In late 2010, he pleaded guilty to reduced counts of misdemeanor reckless conduct and DWI. As part of the agreement he avoided jail time, but his license was suspended for five months and he was fined $500.

Deerfield police initially accused Spillane of putting his wife’s life in danger while the two were driving home from dinner on March 12, 2010, according to published reports. Spillane was accused of yanking the steering wheel while she was driving, causing the vehicle to crash on Swamp Road, not far from the couple’s home.

(Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 369-3319, adandrea@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @_ADandrea.)