Ex-Portsmouth ER doctor to plead guilty to domestic assault

Former Portsmouth Regional Hospital physician and Greenland police officer faces four charges in Rockingham Superior Court

A prominent Seacoast emergency doctor could face jail time in a domestic violence case but will not be convicted of a felony as part of a new plea deal.

Harry Wallus, a former Portsmouth Regional Hospital physician and Greenland police officer, entered an intent to plead guilty July 20 in Rockingham Superior Court to four charges of simple assault, domestic violence. He was facing two felony counts of second-degree assault, alleging he strangled his girlfriend and broke her ribs, but those charges were not included in the deal between attorneys.

His attorney Tom Reid and prosecutors will now argue Sept. 13 before a judge over how much time he will have to serve in jail. The hearing is for a capped plea and sentencing hearing, in which his potential jail time will be no more than nine months stand committed. He could also face a suspended sentence, two years of probation, and have to undergo a domestic violence program.

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Harry Wallus

Wallus, who also previously served on the Seacoast area SWAT police unit, was arrested Feb. 6, 2022, after police say he assaulted his then-girlfriend over text messages he found on her phone. The victim, Ashley Gardner, has said publicly that Wallus kicked her in the side to break two ribs, then held her down so that her sweatshirt caused strangulation around her neck until she was able to break free.

The incident initially resulted in seven misdemeanor charges: five counts of simple assault, one of criminal threatening, and another for obstructing a report of crime/injury. Wallus was then indicted on the two felonies at the beginning of this year.

Under state law, the New Hampshire Board of Medicine may take disciplinary action against licensed physicians convicted of a felony pending a hearing. Wallus currently has an active medical license with the New Hampshire Office of Professional Licensure and Certification, issued in 2013 and set to expire on June 30, 2025.

Gardner has said she wants Wallus to be convicted of every charge he faces, including the felonies. However, she also said she would accept his guilty plea to misdemeanors, because it would prevent him from trying to appeal a conviction and allow her to move forward.

Wallus was living in Greenland at the time of the alleged assault. Police said they responded to a call reporting the incident at 10:27 a.m. at his Brackett Point Road home and found Gardner bleeding from her nose. A police affidavit alleges Wallus grabbed her by the hair, threw her to the floor, and held her down as he allegedly punched and kicked her side. Police also said Wallus slammed her hand on the floor before taking her phone.

Wallus had previously won awards for his work at Portsmouth Regional Hospital as a physician in their emergency department, including one in 2016 for “excellent patient care and outstanding professional relationships with EMS.”

He has also served as a civilian affiliate of the Seacoast Emergency Response Team as an emergency physician, and worked briefly as a part-time police officer at the Greenland Police Department.

Wallus is no longer employed by Greenland police nor Portsmouth Regional Hospital, according to the organizations. Wallus’ employment ended in Greenland Nov. 13, 2018, following an OUI arrest in York, Maine. Ellen Miller, the spokesperson for Portsmouth Regional Hospital, confirmed in February he was no longer employed by the hospital.

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Categories: Law