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Sentencing set in Bangor street-fight murder

Kate Collins | BDN
Kate Collins | BDN
Zachary Carr walks into a Penobscot County Judicial Center courtroom on Thursday, June 30, 2011. Convicted of murder for the 2010 death of John "Bobby" Surles, Carr's attorneys were seeking new trial, citing alleged errors during his jury trial this past winter. Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy denied the request and let the guilty verdict stand.
By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — The man convicted of killing a teenager in a street fight more than 2½ years ago is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday, Dec. 2, at the Penobscot Judicial Center.

Zachary Carr, 20, of Bangor faces a minimum of 25 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life for murdering John “Bobby” Surles, 19 of Bangor around 6 p.m. Jan. 27, 2010, on Cumberland Street in Bangor. Surles died the next day at Eastern Maine Medical Center.

The sentencing was scheduled last week after Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy denied a defense motion to reconsider her June 30 denial of a motion for a new trial and another to set aside the verdict. She heard oral arguments on the original motions six weeks earlier.

Carr was found guilty of murder and not guilty of manslaughter by a Penobscot County jury in March.

Surles’ grandfather Allen Suddy, 63, of Bangor in May expressed his family’s frustration with the how long it was taking for Carr’s sentencing to be held.

Suddy, who raised Surles as his son, also said that if Carr had taken a deal offered by the Maine Attorney General’s Office, which prosecutes all homicide cases, the expense of a trial and appellate motions could have been avoided. Surles said Carr was offered a seven-year prison term in exchange for a plea to manslaughter.

F. David Walker IV of Portland and co-counsel Thomas Matzilevich of Bangor declined to comment on possible plea negotiations. Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson also refused to confirm or deny Suddy’s statement.

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