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home : news : regional April 24, 2015

Court reverses conviction of getaway driver

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- The New Hampshire Supreme Court has reversed the robbery conviction of a woman who was barred from testifying about past incidents of violence or threats by the boyfriend she said coerced her into being the getaway driver.

Ashley Hayward of Newport was 19 when she was charged with being an accomplice to robbing the Baymont Inn in Lebanon Jan. 10, 2012. She was convicted that September.

Hayward's lawyer was permitted to present evidence that her boyfriend, Tyler Dodge, threatened to beat her if she didn't drive him and another co-defendant.

But the justices, in a 4-1 ruling issued Friday, said the trial judge was wrong to bar Hayward's testimony about prior threats and violence by Dodge, including holding a knife to her throat.

The court ordered a new trial.

Bob Ryan NNEKY

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