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October 24, 2012

Paroled killer beats 8th DUI, still gets jail

SALEM — A paroled killer was spared a potential eighth driving under the influence conviction Tuesday following nearly five hours of deliberations that, at one point, became deadlocked.

But Andrew Millyan, 56, of North Grafton, stopped on Route 128 in Manchester last February, did receive a two-year jail term after he was found guilty of driving to endanger and marijuana possession by the Salem District Court jury late Tuesday afternoon.

Several jurors interviewed after the verdict said they struggled with a decision, but believed they had no option, given the evidence they had.

“It was an uncomfortable situation,” said a 31-year-old Peabody woman who did not want her name published. “All we had was the information presented to us.”

That information did not include Millyan’s string of drunken driving convictions in the 1970s and 1980s — a spree interrupted, said prosecutor Jane Prince, only by Millyan’s arrest and conviction in a 1981 murder in Revere. It also did not include Millyan’s inadvertently recorded admission to his lawyer that he “took too many” Percocets the day he was stopped by Manchester police after careening along the northbound lanes of Route 128, according to witnesses.

And while some of the jurors suspected that Mill-yan had a past history, that information was not provided during the trial, said the juror. “We had to rely on what was before us in the courtroom.”

She went on to say some jurors simply believed that there was not enough evidence to find Millyan guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. For example, she said, there was no evidence of how much Percocet he had taken that day.

But not all the jurors felt the same way. In one note sent to the judge around 2 p.m., the jurors reported that while they had reached their verdicts on the driving to endanger and marijuana charges, and they were split 4-2 on the question of whether Millyan was driving under the influence of drugs. Four believed he was not guilty.

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