By Marjorie Nesin
---- — The 52-year-old Gloucester woman facing vehicular homicide and drunken driving charges will have to wait a little longer to plead her case.
During an appearance Friday in Gloucester District Court, Rebecca Jacques’s court-appointed attorney, Kathryn Cox, requested a further pretrial hearing since the charges against Jacques may be bumped up to the Superior Court level and shifted to Salem.
The judge assigned Jacques a new pretrial date of March 29; no other action was taken on the case.
Jacques, whose vehicle slammed into a car on Essex Avenue, killing a passenger in the other vehicle the night of Saturday, Dec. 15, lifted cuffed hands as she turned to leave the glass holding box in the corner of the courtroom, waving her fingers at another woman in the room. She swept long blonde hair over her shoulder.
Jacques has been held at the Massachusetts Institution of Correction in Framingham since her Dec. 16 arrest the day after the crash. Jacques initially faced charges of negligent driving, driving with a suspended license and marked lane violations. Later, police added a charge of vehicular homicide, after receiving a Dec. 19 crime lab report that indicated Jacques’ blood alcohol level at the time of the crash measured at 0.22 nearly three times the allowable limit of .08.
The additional charge, filed at the beginning of February, boosted Jacques’s bail from $25,000 cash to $50,000.
The woman killed in the crash was a 52-year-old Ipswich woman named Mary Lipman. Lipman was the front seat passenger in a Suburu driven by off-duty State Trooper James Cowhig. She was transported to Addison Gilbert Hospital to await a Medical Flight to another hospital, but was pronounced dead at AGH just two hours after the collision, according to a police report.
Police reported that the truck Jacques had been driving drifted onto the wrong side of the roadway, and when the Cowhig approached coming from the opposite direction in the Suburu, he swerved into the lane that the truck should have been driving in to avoid a head-on collision. Yet the truck and the passenger side of the Suburu still collided, police said.
A record of past convictions, including eight charges for driving with a revoked or suspended license, had also been used in determining Jacques’ new bail.
A 2004 charge against Jacques of driving with a suspended license, with a $500 fine attached, remains open in Salem District Court. Jacques had also faced two separate charges of possession of a class B controlled substance between 1990 and 2004.
Marjorie Nesin can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3451, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.