State to appeal suppression of teen driver’s statements in West Paris manslaughter case

By Tony Reaves, BDN Staff
Posted Aug. 13, 2013, at 7:34 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — The state’s appeal over a judge’s decision to throw out statements a teen driver made hours after a crash that killed two people will go before Maine’s highest court.

State police say Kristina Lowe of West Paris, who was 19 at the time, told police before undergoing surgery that she had been texting before the Jan. 7, 2012, crash that killed passengers Rebecca Mason, 16, of West Paris and Logan Dam, 19, of Norway. Police also said Lowe had been drinking.

On Sept. 9, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court will hear oral arguments in State of Maine v. Kristine Lowe, as Oxford County assistant district attorneys Joseph O’Connor and Richard Beauchesne argue against the decision to suppress Lowe’s statements.

Lowe faces two counts of Class A manslaughter; two counts of aggravated operating under the influence, a Class B crime; two counts of Class C driving to endanger; and a single count of leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident resulting in death.

In December, active retired Justice Robert W. Clifford ruled that statements made hours after the crash in which Lowe told police she had been texting were inadmissible because she had not been read her Miranda rights.

Lowe’s attorney, James Howaniec, has argued that icy road conditions caused the crash, and has said her blood alcohol level was too low to be a factor.

Oral arguments for State of Maine v. Kristine Lowe are set for 1 p.m. Sept. 9.

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/08/13/news/lewiston-auburn/date-set-for-states-appeal-on-teen-drivers-statements-in-manslaughter-case/ printed on October 1, 2014