June 21, 2018
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Tenants Harbor man accused of urging witness to lie

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — A Tenants Harbor man charged with drunken driving was arrested again over the weekend and accused of asking his tenant to lie about the case.

Eric T. Lugar, 36, was charged with tampering with a witness.

Judge Susan Sparaco set bail at $50,000 surety and $500 cash during a hearing Monday in Rockland District Court. Lugar was ordered not to have any further contact with the tenant.

District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau had recommended that Lugar be held without bail since his bail on the charge of operating under the influence prohibited anything other than incidental contact with the witness.

Lugar was arrested April 25, accused of OUI and leaving the scene of an accident after a car crash. The tenant is expected to be a witness in the case because Lugar allegedly contacted the tenant after the crash and asked him if he could retrieve Lugar’s glasses from the vehicle.

According to a police report filed in the tampering case, a state trooper was driving by Lugar’s residence the next day and spotted him talking with the tenant. The tenant later told the officer that Lugar had advised him to tell police that Lugar’s car had been stolen.

Lugar’s attorney, Eric Morse, said that denying bail was excessive in this case since there was no evidence of intimidation or threats being made by his client.

Morse suggested the bail be set at $50,000 surety since his client owns his home. He said his client also has a steady, well-paying job.

Rushlau argued against the arrangement noting that there was no certainty the man had $50,000 equity in his home to be used as bail. The prosecutor noted that Lugar had told police that his car had been stolen and that bruises he suffered were the result of someone beating him up.

Morse said his client would agree to no further contact with the tenant and would collect rent or handle other matters through a third party.

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