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Man Accused of Intentionally Running Pregnant Woman Off Road

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    Police: Man Intentionally Runs Pregnant Woman Off Road in Haverhill, Massachusetts

    Investigators say 24-year-old Josef Leavitt ran 24-year-old Deanna Clarke, who was seven months pregnant, off the road in Haverhill, Massachusetts, on purpose. Clarke's child was delivered in an emergency C-section and is in critical condition. (Published Wednesday, May 11, 2016)

    Residents of Haverhill, Massachusetts, couldn't believe what they were seeing when they watched two cars go flying down a narrow, winding road and then crashing in the woods.

    But what could be even more shocking is that police say this wasn't an accident. Methuen resident Josef Leavitt, 24, is accused of running a pregnant woman off the road, on purpose.

    "The driver is in stable condition however she was seven months pregnant at the time," said Essex County Assistant District Attorney Stephen Patten.

    Patten said 24-year-old Deanna Clarke of Haverhill was pinned inside her Jeep Cherokee that had rolled over and Leavitt allegedly took off.

    The prosecution argued Wednesday morning for Leavitt to be held without bail.

    "I'd say this, there is a 7-month-old baby fighting for their life and he left them in the road," Patten said.

    Haverhill resident Mike Sherar said he witnessed the two vehicles side by side speeding along Middle Road right before they crashed at about 6:15 p.m. Tuesday.

    "I was walking back from the barn and they went flying by," Sherar said. "My wife and I are infuriated."

    The prosecution said this all started as a drug deal gone bad.

    "The baby's life is in jeopardy and it's not the baby's fault," Sherar said.

    Leavitt was allegedly trying to buy marijuana from Clarke's passenger. When they couldn't strike a deal, Patten said, Leavitt got in his car and started chasing Clarke's Jeep.

    "The defendant, and I will quote, 'The BMW was traveling left of way and intentionally crashed into the side of the Jeep,'" Patten read off the police report.

    Leavitt's public defender Michael Baldassarre argued that the eyewitness accounts are inconsistent and that Leavitt should be released on "reasonable" bail.

    "This gentleman is not a flight risk, he has no history of violence, and he lives with his parents," Baldassarre said.

    Leavitt's parents were in court Wednesday visibly upset and refused to speak to necn on their son's behalf.

    Clarke is expected to be OK.

    Her baby was delivered in an emergency C-section and is in critical condition.

    Leavitt is being held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing next week.