May 28, 2020
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Grand jury indicts Bangor teen on murder charge

BANGOR, Maine — A local teenager charged in the shooting death last month of a young Bangor man was indicted Wednesday by the Penobscot County grand jury.

Zachary Carr, 18, was indicted on charges of intentional or knowing murder and adequate provocation manslaughter in the death of 19-year-old John “Bobby” Surles, described by Bangor police as a transient.

Carr is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges on March 17 at the Penobscot Judicial Center.

If convicted of murder, he faces 25 years to life in prison. If convicted on the manslaughter charge, he faces a maximum of 30 years in prison.

Adequate provocation manslaughter is “intentionally or knowingly [causing] the death of another human being under circumstances that do not constitute murder because the person causes the death while under the influence of extreme anger or extreme fear brought about by adequate provocation,” the manslaughter statute states.

Under the statute, extreme anger or extreme fear brought on by adequate provocation is a mitigating circumstance reducing murder to manslaughter. It would be up to a judge or jury to determine whether the circumstances under which Surles was shot meet that standard.

Stephen Smith, Carr’s Bangor attorney, has said his client was defending himself when the shooting occurred.

Carr, according to documents filed at the Penobscot Judicial Center, shot an unarmed Surles with a 9 mm handgun about 6 p.m. Jan. 27 in a confrontation outside 62 Cumberland St. in Bangor. Carr allegedly shot Surles during a fight near the apartment where Carr lived.

Surles allegedly told a passer-by who came to his aid that “Zach Carr” was the person who shot him. He died about 28 hours after the shooting at Eastern Maine Medical Center from injuries caused by a gunshot wound to the chest.

Carr remains held without bail at Penobscot County Jail. No bail hearing has been set.

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