Man charged in fatal Mars Hill crash requests jury trial

Posted Sept. 01, 2012, at 11:54 a.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 remains free on bail as he awaits a jury trial in the case.

Aroostook County District Attorney Todd Collins said earlier this week that William Barton, 52, remains on round-the-clock house arrest. He has requested a jury trial, with court-scheduled jury selection on Sept. 4. Collins said he is unsure whether a jury will be picked for Barton’s case that day, as a number of cases need a jury assigned.

After the accident, the 52-year-old was arrested on charges of operating under the influence causing death, operating under the influence causing serious bodily injury and 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 was traveling northbound 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, 53, 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 released on a $30,000 unsecured bond and was indicted by a grand jury six months after the crash.

This past April, Barton was found in possession of marijuana, which was a violation of his bail conditions. As a result of the charges against him, he was not allowed to use or possess illegal substances.

During his appearance on that charge, he had his bail conditions revised. He now must adhere to round-the-clock house arrest with certain exceptions and must continue to submit to random searches and testing. He cannot use or possess alcohol or drugs.

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

Young is still recovering from injuries suffered in the crash.

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