NH man faces homicide charges in crash that killed Biddeford pastor, wife

Posted Sept. 04, 2013, at 7:09 a.m.
Last modified Sept. 04, 2013, at 12:44 p.m.

BARRINGTON, N.H. — Barrington resident John Shaw is facing negligent homicide and driving while intoxicated charges after Saturday’s head-on collision that killed the Rev. Joel McLain and his wife, Maxine, both of Biddeford, Maine.

Shaw, 48, is being held at Strafford County jail on $25,000 cash bail after his arraignment at Rochester Circuit Court on Tuesday. He has been charged with four counts of negligent homicide and two counts of aggravated DWI in connection with the deaths of the 77-year-old McLains.

McLain had been pastor at Victory Chapel in Biddeford for 31 years.

According to New Hampshire State Police, Shaw had been driving west on Route 202 in Barrington around 11:20 p.m. Saturday when the Ford Ranger he was driving crossed the centerline and collided with an eastbound Ford Edge driven by Joel McLain. An affidavit by State Trooper Christopher Storm states the accident occurred in the eastbound lane.

Joel McLain was killed in the crash while Maxine McLain, his passenger, died a few hours following the accident after being taken to Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester, according to the affidavit.

First responders on the scene of the accident reported there was a smell of alcohol coming from Shaw, according to Storm’s sworn affidavit.

“He was asked how much alcoholic beverages he had consumed. He stated a few,” the affidavit reads.

Shaw was ejected from his vehicle after the collision and was taken to Frisbie Memorial Hospital. At the hospital, “other indicators of impairment became apparent,” according to the affidavit.

Exeter resident Keith Carman, 55, who has known Shaw for more than three decades, said Shaw “is not known to drink.”

“I’m really struggling here,” said Carman. “I’ve known him for 35 years and John does not drink.”

According to the official complaints against Shaw, two of the felony negligent homicide charges allege he negligently caused the death of Joel and Maxine McLain in the accident. The other two negligent homicide charges alleged he caused their deaths in the accident in consequence of being under intoxication of liquor or controlled drug.

Shaw does not have a prior criminal record, according to court documents.

His next court date is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sept. 12 at Rochester Circuit Court.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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