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Ex-Patriot found guilty of stalking in Concord

  • Gregory Spires

  • Gregory Spires Courtesy

  • Buffalo Bills quarterback Rob Johnson (11) gets off a pass as he is is taken down by New England Patriots defensive end Greg Spires (94) during the first half of the game at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y., Sunday, Dec. 17, 2000. Johnson suffered a concussion on the play. (AP Photo/David Duprey) DAVID DUPREY

Monitor staff
Published: 10/18/2019 3:51:59 PM
Modified: 10/18/2019 3:51:45 PM

A former New England Patriot will serve no additional jail time for going to Concord High School in May in violation of a temporary protection order his daughter took out against him.

Gregory Spires, 45, of Cypress, Texas, pleaded no contest Thursday to a misdemeanor charge of violating a stalking protective order. Spires did not appear in court; instead, he joined the hearing by telephone from Texas after his attorney argued that Spires’s permanent disability rendered air travel “physically burdensome.”

Judge M. Kristin Spath sentenced Spires to 90 days in jail, all suspended for one year. Spires must remain of good behavior during that time and not commit any additional offenses. Following his arrest on May 10, Spires spent five days at the Merrimack County jail in Boscawen. He received credit Thursday for time served, reducing his potential sentence to 85 days.

Spires is prohibited from having contact with his daughter and ex-wife, who were each granted final protective orders against him in the days after his arrest. The orders, which will remain in effect until May 15, 2020, prohibit Spires from being within 500 feet of his ex-wife and daughter, including in proximity to their home, places of employment and Concord High School.

“The Court finds that the defendant’s conduct, in contacting both the plaintiff and the parties’ daughter, and the actions he undertook, notwithstanding both of their requests of him to stay away from them caused them to fear for their safety,” Marital Master Thomas Cooper wrote in mid-May. “There can perhaps be no greater fear to be experienced than that of a parent whose child’s health, safety, welfare or emotional well being is being threatened by another human being or event.”

Judge Erin B. McIntyre granted the final orders after lengthy civil hearings during which all three parties testified.

Spires, who is remarried, told the court in May that he chose to fly to New Hampshire to see his daughter play sports after learning through a Google search that she attends Concord High. However, he gave no prior notification of his trip and just showed up at Memorial Field on May 8 with his wife and two sons.

The girl testified that she was terrified to see her father, whom she had not spoken to in years.

“I was frightened for my life and especially for my mother’s life because of past domestic violence I’ve seen with my own eyes,” she said.

Spires and the girl’s mother divorced in 2007 but legal and financial disputes persist.

The mother and daughter relocated to the Granite State from the Boston area almost three years ago after their home was broken into. The break-in was around the same time Spires threatened his ex-wife by text. A copy of the text provided to Cooper reads: “This will not get better for you only worse. If you’re thinking about leaving you better go now. I’m coming!!!”

Spires was never criminally charged in connection with that incident.

The girl and her mother said they’ve felt safe in New Hampshire until Spires showed up unannounced. While police were called, they could not force Spires off the field because there was no protective order in place at the time.

The next day, Spires’s ex-wife and daughter went to Concord’s district court to apply for protection. When the girl returned to the field on May 9, Spires, who had planned to watch a second sporting event, was quickly served the paperwork and told to leave school property.

A provision in the petition taken out by his daughter prohibited him from being on school grounds. But Spires told Cooper he neglected to read the order and showed up May 10 at Concord High to meet the principal and request copies of his daughter’s grades.

He later apologized to the court for his actions.

“I’m sorry for breaking the restraining order,” he said. “I’ve never been arrested. It was an honest mistake. I take pride in keeping my nose clean.”

Spires is a former defensive end who played three seasons in New England after the Patriots picked him in the third round of the 1998 NFL draft. He was released in 2001 and picked up by the Cleveland Browns for a season. He spent the next six years playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and helped them win a Super Bowl after the 2002 season.

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