Jury selected for West Paris vehicular manslaughter trial

Posted May 15, 2014, at 9:45 a.m.
Kristina Lowe
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Kristina Lowe

PARIS, Maine — Eight women and seven men, none under the age of 30, were selected Wednesday in Oxford County Superior Court to hear the trial of a 21-year-old West Paris woman charged with vehicular manslaughter.

Kristina Lowe is charged in the deaths of Rebecca Mason, 16, and Logan Dam, 19, who died Jan. 7, 2012, in a single-vehicle crash in West Paris. Police say Lowe was drunk when she crashed into a stand of trees on Route 219, killing her two back-seat passengers.

Lowe is facing five felony charges, including two charges of vehicular manslaughter, two charges of aggravated criminal operating under the influence and a single charge of leaving the scene of a fatal accident

If convicted of all charges, Lowe faces well over 60 years in jail.

It took most of the day Wednesday to select jurors, including three alternates, from a pool of 107. Each person was asked about possible conflicts they may have with the case or with the alleged actions of the defendant.

In particular, Active-Retired Justice Robert Clifford asked each potential juror whether they were related to Lowe, or to the victims in this case, and whether they had prior knowledge of the case.

Among the jury pool, five people said they either knew Lowe or were related to her, and the same number either knew or were related to one of the victims. Of the five who know Lowe, all said they would not be able to serve as impartial jurors, but two who knew the victims said they believed they could be impartial if selected to serve.

Nineteen of the potential jurors spoke up to say they were acquainted with or worked with witnesses, which number in the dozens. Lowe’s attorney, Jim Howaniec of Lewiston, said a juror-witness relationship is a greater concern to him than whether the potential jurors had any prior knowledge of the case through media reports or from other people in the community.

A number of potential jurors, who noticed co-workers in the jury pool, told the court they would find it difficult to serve if it meant taking a different position on the case than their co-worker. Including, in one instance, serving on the jury with a boss.

Neither the boss nor his employee were selected to serve.

To view the full story, go to http://www.sunjournal.com/news/maine/2014/05/14/jury-selected-kristina-lowe-vehicular-manslaughter-trial/1534131.

 

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