June 21, 2018
Midcoast Latest News | Poll Questions | Family Separations | Boston TV | LePage Troops

Trial set for July for teen involved in fatal South Thomaston crash

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — The trial of an 18-year-old Owls Head man charged with manslaughter for a fatal car crash last year is scheduled for July.

The attorney for the teen has asked the state to provide a list of every summons for moving violations that has been issued within one mile of the crash and all summons for speeding in Knox County on streets with the same speed limit as the crash site.

Evan A. Altiero will remain free while he awaits trial, tentatively set for July 11 in Rockland District Court.

Altiero was charged in January with manslaughter in connection with a car crash shortly before midnight June 20, 2011, on Route 73 in South Thomaston which claimed the life of his only passenger, Aleisha Sonksen of Owls Head. Altiero was the driver of a 1998 BMW Z3 that went off the road and rolled several times, according to police.

Sonksen was 17 years old and had just completed her junior year at Camden Hills Regional High School.

Altiero, who appeared in court Wednesday morning for a five-minute hearing before Judge Susan Sparaco, is being tried as a juvenile because he was 17 years old when the crash occurred. He turned 18 in December.

The charge filed by the district attorney’s office states that he acted recklessly or with criminal negligence that led to Sonksen’s death. District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau said last month that there will be evidence presented to show that speed played a factor in the crash. He said alcohol was not a factor.

Among the conditions of Altiero’s release, his driving is limited to going to school and to the home where he is living in Northampton, Mass. Altiero also is allowed to drive to Maine to visit his parents.

The defendant is represented by attorney Philip Cohen of Waldoboro.

The maximum sentence Altiero could face if he is found to have committed the offense is to be sent to a juvenile detention facility for an indeterminate time until he reaches 21 years of age.

Both Cohen and Assistant District Attorney Lindsay Jones said the trial should last a little more than one day.

Jones, who is prosecuting the case, said Wednesday at the hearing that the only issue left to settle before the trial is a request by the defense for evidence to be presented to it. Jones said a hearing would need to be held on the request.

The motion for discovery filed by Cohen asks the district attorney’s office to provide copies of all summons for speeding in Knox County where the speed limit was 40 miles per hour, the same limit as where the crash occurred, and all summons for any moving violations within a mile of the crash.

The defense argues in its motion that this information would bear directly on whether Altiero’s conduct represented a gross deviation from the standard of conduct of a reasonable person.

Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

You may also like