Maine high court reverses conviction in 2007 fatal

Posted Nov. 17, 2010, at 10:36 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 11:37 a.m.

FARMINGTON, Maine — Maine’s highest court has thrown out the conviction of a now 25-year-old Lincoln man for his role in a 2007 crash in Farmington that killed a co-worker.

Maine Supreme Judicial Court justices issued a 5-2 decision on Tuesday that vacates the guilty verdict against Ryan A. Hurd and remands it back to the Franklin County Superior Court for entry of the original verdict of not guilty.

Hurd was convicted last year on a charge of aggravated drunken driving — accomplice liability. According to testimony during the original trial, Hurd and two other men were highly intoxicated when they got into Hurd’s car on Oct. 17, 2007, in Farmington to return to a Kingfield hotel where they were staying during a construction job.

The car was going 98 miles an hour before it hit a utility pole on Route 27 that day in New Vineyard, according to testimony. Terry Richardson Jr., 34, of Dover-Foxcroft died in the accident and Chad Bernier, 30, of Medway and Hurd were seriously injured.

State prosecutors claimed Hurd was behind the wheel while Hurd’s attorney, Richard Hartley argued that Richardson was driving.

The Sun Journal says that after the jury gave the not guilty verdicts it was discharged, but reconvened after jurors had seen Richardson’s family members cry when the not guilty verdicts were read.

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