Driver charged in fatal Mars Hill crash out of jail after new charges filed against him

Posted April 27, 2012, at 6:06 p.m.

MARS HILL, Maine — A Mars Hill man who allegedly was under the influence of alcohol when he caused a fatal car crash in September 2011 had his bail conditions revised this week after he recently was found in possession of marijuana.

An official at the Aroostook County Jail in Houlton said Friday that William Barton, 51, of Mars Hill, has been released from the facility. Aroostook County District Attorney Todd Collins said a bail review hearing for Barton was held in Aroostook County Superior Court in Caribou in front of Justice E. Allen Hunter on Wednesday.

Earlier this month, Barton was found in possession of marijuana, which was a violation of his bail conditions. He was not allowed to use or possess illegal substances since he was arrested on charges of operating under the influence causing death, and operating under the influence causing serious bodily injury, along with possession of methamphetamine.

The fatal crash took place on Sept. 3, 2011, on U.S. Route 1 in Mars Hill.

Jerome York, 21, of Medway was northbound on the road when his 2001 Chrysler wagon collided head-on with a 2010 Ford pickup driven by Barton.

York’s father, 51-year-old Nathan York of Medway, a passenger in the wagon, died at the scene.

Herb Young, 52, another passenger, suffered significant injuries. He also resides in Mars Hill and is Jerome York’s uncle.

All of the occupants of both vehicles were wearing seat belts.

Jerome York and Barton escaped serious injury. Barton was indicted by the grand jury last month.

On Wednesday, Hunter granted Barton’s release on the bail violation on a $10,000 secured bond or $1,000 cash. He must adhere to round-the-clock house arrest with certain exceptions and must continue to submit to random search and testing, and he cannot use or possess alcohol or drugs.

Collins said his office had requested that Barton be held without bond until his trial in light of the new allegations.

When he was first charged, Barton was released on a $30,000 unsecured bond.

Barton has prior convictions for possession of marijuana, violating condition of release, assault and speeding 30-plus mph more than posted speed.

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