Former executive set for plea hearing in car crash that killed pregnant woman, her fiance

A former Fortune 500 executive charged with killing a pregnant Vermont woman and her fiance during a botched suicide attempt is expected to be in a New Hampshire court Thursday for a plea hearing.

Robert Dellinger, 54, of Sunapee, was charged with second-degree murder in the deaths of Amanda Murphy, 24, and Jason Timmons, 29, both of Wilder, after the December 2013 crash. Murphy was eight months pregnant, and Dellinger was also charged with second-degree assault in the death of the fetus. He had pleaded not guilty to the charges and has been held without bail.

A plea hearing is set for 9 a.m. in Grafton County Superior Court.

A call to his lawyer was not immediately returned Wednesday.

Dellinger told investigators he was trying to kill himself when he steered his pickup across an Interstate 89 median in Lebanon. The truck went airborne, shearing off the top of the SUV the couple was driving. Dellinger had cuts and bruises.

He was initially charged with two counts of reckless manslaughter, but state police upgraded the charges two weeks after the crash, alleging Dellinger showed "extreme indifference to human life." New Hampshire Senior Assistant Attorney General Susan Morrell said in court that Dellinger had argued with his wife over his medications on the morning of the crash, left the house and began to drive around, growing increasingly despondent.

The part of the median Dellinger chose to plow into, she said, had no trees, rocks or other obstacles.

"He could have chosen many other ways to kill himself that would not put anyone else in danger," she said in December 2013.

Dellinger was a senior vice president and chief financial officer at PPG Industries Inc. when he left in 2011 because of health problems. He also held high-level posts at Sprint Corp., Delphi Corp. and General Electric Co.