Jurors to hear evidence Tuesday in Orono hit-and-run case

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted July 18, 2011, at 12:30 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Jurors will begin hearing evidence Tuesday at the Penobscot Judicial Center in the trial of a York County man accused in the hit-and-run death of a University of Maine student 18 months ago.

Jury selection took all day Monday, with nearly 150 Penobscot County residents waiting to see if they would be chosen to decide if Garrett Cheney, 23, of South Berwick is guilty or not guilty in the death of Jordyn Bakley, 20, of Camden.

Cheney is charged with manslaughter, aggravated criminal operating under the influence of intoxicants, leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in serious bodily injury, and criminal operating under the influence of intoxicants.

He allegedly struck and killed Bakley, a junior majoring in education, about 3 a.m. Jan. 30, 2010, in front of 15 Middle St. in Orono, near her apartment. Cheney was driving on the wrong side of the street when he struck Bakley, who was killed instantly, according to court documents.

Cheney was in Orono on Jan. 29 visiting a cousin to celebrate the cousin’s 21st birthday, according to an Orono police affidavit filed at the time of his arrest on April 16, 2010.

After allegedly hitting Bakley, Cheney headed south on Interstate 95. His 2003 Chevy Silverado went off the highway about 3:30 a.m. in Etna, according to the affidavit. The damaged pickup was towed to the storage lot of a Newport towing firm.

Cheney was not injured but was charged with drunken driving. His blood alcohol level was 0.15 percent, nearly twice the legal limit, two hours after his truck left I-95, according to the affidavit.

Bakley was a 2007 graduate of Camden Hills Regional High School, where she was a talented swimmer and active in the Diversity Coalition and Water Monitoring Program, according to her obituary. She was an advocate for a number of humanitarian causes and spent one summer volunteering for a program that worked to keep inner-city kids off the streets and another as part of a Habitat for Humanity group that built a home in Mississippi.

If convicted of manslaughter, the most serious crime with which he is charged, Cheney, who has no criminal history, faces up to 30 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

CORRECTION:

An earlier version of this story contained wrong information about where Garrett Cheney, the man on trial in the hit-and-run death of Jordyn Bakley, lives. Cheney is from South Berwick, not North Berwick.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/07/18/news/bangor/jury-selection-under-way-in-orono-hit-and-run-case/ printed on July 22, 2014