The Bangor man charged in connection with a crash in May that killed a longtime friend was drunk and driving between 90 and 100 miles per hour shortly before the car went off the road in Hudson, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
James M. McBride, 44, made his first appearance Wednesday before District Court Judge Gregory Campbell at the Penobscot Judicial Center on charges of manslaughter, aggravated operating under the influence of intoxicants and aggravated driving to endanger.
His blood alcohol level after the crash was .17 percent, more than twice the legal limit of .08 percent, according to Marianne Lynch, assistant district attorney for Penobscot County.
McBride was not asked to enter pleas to the felony charges because he has not yet been indicted by the Penobscot County grand jury. The grand jury next convenes on June 27.
Campbell set bail at $25,000 cash as Lynch requested. McBride, who was arrested Tuesday, indicated through the lawyer-of-the-day, Jeremiah Haley of Bangor, that he could not post such a high bail.
“This was a horrific situation in which his good friend died,” Haley told Campbell. “He has family here, he has no record of putting people in danger. Twenty-five thousand dollars at the initial stage is too high a bail.”
The judge disagreed but said defense attorney Martha Harris, whom he appointed to represent McBride, may seek a lower bail once she is familiar with the case.
McBride’s next court date was set for Aug. 7.
Killed in the crash was Mark W. “Billy” Allard, 44, of Glenburn, who was a passenger in a 2005 Chrysler 300 driven by McBride when it went off Route 221, also known as Hudson Road, at about 7:12 p.m. on May 6, according to the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office.
Allard was in the rear passenger seat when McBride lost control of the car and crossed the centerline, Lynch said. Allard was ejected when the car became airborne, flipped over several times and landed in a field. Allard was pronounced dead at the scene.
McBride, Allard and two other passengers had been at a party in Hudson that day when they decided to take the car for a ride. None of them owned the Chrysler, according to Lynch. McBride admitted to using cocaine and drinking alcohol before driving the car, she said.
McBride was injured in the crash and transported to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, where he was hospitalized for several days, Lynch said. He has since recovered from those injuries.
The other passengers have not been identified.
If convicted of manslaughter, the most serious charge, McBride faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.
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