NEWBURYPORT — A Salisbury woman accused of driving her toddler in a minivan with heroin and other drugs in her pockets was held without bail following her arraignment yesterday at Newburyport District Court.
Jennifer L. Hunter, 31, of 3 Highback Road, was arrested Wednesday at 8:56 p.m. and charged with heroin possession, possession of a class A substance (methadone) and oxycodone possession along with five previous warrants and multiple motor vehicle violations.
Hunter, who began crying in the courtroom upon hearing she would not be released, was already on probation for multiple motor vehicle-related charges going back several years. Judge Peter Doyle ordered her held on $5,000 cash bail for her most recent charges, but without bail on possible probation violations. She is due back in court April 2 for a pretrial hearing on the new charges and for a probation violation hearing.
Essex County prosecutor Annaliese Wolf had advocated for $5,000 bail while Hunter’s court-appointed attorney argued for $1,000. Even that lesser amount he called “excessive,” saying she had no money and it was her fear of going to court empty-handed that led to her not paying earlier motor vehicle violation fines. Her failure to appear in court and to pay earlier fines resulted in the warrants for her arrest.
According to Wolf, police watched as Hunter left a Lena Mae Way address in a Dodge Caravan mini-van with a plate belonging to another vehicle.
Suspecting she had attached another license plate to the vehicle, police officers ordered her to pull over, which she did, but only after merging onto Interstate 95 north from Main Street.
When police officers Richard Dellaria and Michael Tullercash asked if she knew why they pulled her over, she admitted it was because of her using a plate belonging to another vehicle. A computer search showed that Hunter’s driver’s license was suspended and the car she was driving was uninsured, unregistered and had a cracked windshield more than 3 inches long.