The Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday upheld the conviction of a disabled motorist who was sentenced to a year in prison for killing a pedestrian.
Andrew Bilodeau was convicted of vehicular manslaughter for the crash that claimed the life of 81-year-old Emile Morin in November 2017 in Augusta.
Prosecutors contended Bilodeau, who has cerebral palsy, knew he was putting the public at risk by driving. In his appeal, Bilodeau contended it was inappropriate for prosecutors to tell jurors that a disabled person shouldn’t be driving after being properly licensed. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles was aware of his physical and vision impairments, he contended.
The Supreme Judicial Court said that Maine’s criminal code didn’t provide a defense to manslaughter related to physical disability, and didn’t prevent the state from presenting evidence of a disability.
Morin was walking to his car after attending a funeral Mass and bean supper. Caryn Murphy, Bilodeau’s daughter, said her father knew his limitations and “chose to ignore them.”