Judge orders former Patriots player held on $50,000 in stalking case

  • Gregory Spires, 44, of Cypress, Texas, is facing a misdemeanor stalking charge in Concord's district court. —Courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 5/13/2019 5:25:26 PM

A judge set bail Monday at $50,000 in the stalking case against a former New England Patriots player accused of going to Concord High School on Friday in violation of a temporary protection order his daughter took out against him hours earlier.

The stalking petition, granted Thursday, stipulates that Gregory Spires is not to be within 500 feet of his daughter, including at the high school or at any of her extracurricular events. The girl wrote in her stalking petition that Spires — who is remarried and lives in Texas — showed up Wednesday at Memorial Field for her sporting event even though she has not seen or talked to him in years.

“It was frightening to see him invade my personal atmosphere and I am terrified for the next week as they have hinted out that they will be here for a while,” the girl wrote referring to Spires and his wife.

The girl’s mother was also granted a temporary protection order Thursday against Spires whom she divorced more than a decade ago. At Concord’s district court Monday, Spires’s ex-wife told Judge M. Kristin Spath that she has lived with her daughter in New Hampshire for almost three years after fleeing a marriage torn apart by domestic violence. She said she relocated to the Granite State from Massachusetts with the help of the DOVE (Domestic Violence Ended) advocates and that her address has remained confidential through the state’s Address Confidentiality Program.

“We don’t know where to go now,” she said. “I’m not sure how much further we can run.”

Spires, 44, of Cypress, Texas, was arraigned Monday by video from the Merrimack County jail in Boscawen on a misdemeanor stalking charge. He told Spath he was served the protection orders but didn’t notice the provision prohibiting him from being on school property.

“I’m totally innocent,” said Spires, who was not represented by an attorney. “I’m shocked that I’m in jail right now.”

Spires has never faced criminal charges for domestic violence; however, he did agree to participate in anger management after he was accused of assaulting his ex-wife in 2005. Additionally, the woman was granted several restraining orders against Spires over the years, including as recently as 2016, Concord prosecutor Tracy Connolly said. She noted that Spires’s fame as a professional football player made it difficult for his ex-wife to come forward and feel that she would be believed and supported.

The Boston Globe reported in April 2016 that the former Patriots defensive end was ordered to stay away from his ex-wife after he sent her threatening text messages during a dispute over finances and visitation of their teenage daughter.

“No stopping until justice is served,’’ Spires wrote, according to copies of the text submitted to Quincy District Court Judge Mark Coven. “You have been stealing from me for a long time. This will not get better for you only worse. If you’re thinking about leaving you better go now. I’m coming!!!’’

Spires’s ex-wife referred to the text in the stalking petition filed last week in Concord’s district court. She said she fears for her safety and that Spires will never stop stalking her.

Concord police said they responded Wednesday afternoon to Memorial Field after Spires’s ex-wife called to report that he was in the area. His daughter wrote in her stalking petition that Spires took photos and/or videos of her and yelled out her name while she was trying to compete in her sporting event. 

“He then gave me a present with a necklace and a note asking me to contact him over the phone,” she wrote to the court.

Connolly said Monday that Spires made the trip from Texas after seeing his daughter’s name printed in a newspaper’s local sports coverage. She said the girl was "shocked” to see Spires and is now “afraid to go to school.”

“He has absolutely no concern about what this is doing to her when he just hopped on a plane and came up here,” Connolly told Spath.

She asked the court to detain Spires pending trial, calling him a danger to his ex-wife and daughter. Further, she said, he has no ties to New Hampshire and is a flight risk.

By video, Spires denied a history of domestic violence and said that he just wants to have a relationship with his daughter whom he was granted joint custody of as part of the divorce proceedings.

While Spires said he has done “everything” to be apart of his daughter’s life, Connolly said Spires has been mostly absent. Connolly noted that Spires’s ex-wife is not opposed to the girl having a relationship with her father under safe circumstances, but that he hasn’t shown a willingness to do that.

After listening to arguments from both sides, Spath took the matter under advisement and issued a written order following the hearing. In setting bail at $50,000, Spath called Spires’s conduct “ill-advised” and said he “instilled fear” in his daughter. Further, she ruled that Spires’s release would endanger both his daughter and ex-wife.

A hearing on the stalking petitions is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon in Concord’s district court. A trial management conference in the criminal case is slated for June 11.

Spires is on permanent disability from injuries he suffered during his career with the NFL. He 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.

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


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