Mainer who caused fatal crash sentenced to nine years in prison


BATH (AP) – A man whose brother and another man were killed in a crash while he tried to elude police is going to prison for nine years.

Robert Hamilton, 23, offered a tearful apology Thursday before he was sentenced in Sagadahoc County Superior Court.

“I’m so sorry. If I could take my life and trade it for theirs, I would do it today. I dream of my brother all the time,” said Hamilton, who pleaded guilty two counts of manslaughter and two counts of felony drunk driving.

Police say Hamilton was driving at 10 mph over the posted 45-mph limit when a police officer tried to stop his pickup truck on June 5 in Topsham. Instead, Hamilton sped away and crashed in Bowdoin.

His passengers – brother Christopher Hamilton, 26, of Bowdoin and Joshua Fitzgerald, 24, of Sabattus – died when the truck rolled, hit a tree and burst into flames. Topsham Officer Alan Huntington and another officer tried to rescue the passengers but the fire was too hot.

Robert Hamilton was found wandering in nearby woods. Test results revealed that Hamilton’s blood-alcohol level was 0.14 percent, well over the legal limit, said prosecutor Patricia Mador.

“The fact that he ran from the scene and did not try to save his own brother’s life shows what a selfish person he is,” said Jessica Hamilton, Christopher’s widow.

Amanda Bradstreet, Fitzgerald’s fiancee, said they were to have been wed in August. “Instead of being in this courtroom today, I should have been planning my wedding,” she said.

Justice Roland Cole said the plea agreement was fair, considering Hamilton’s prior criminal record.

Hamilton was convicted in March 2001 of eluding a police officer and passing a roadblock, Mador said. She said that chase through York County was eerily similar to the one that occurred last year.