Manslaughter case against N.J. man dismissed

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PARIS — An indictment charging a New Jersey man with manslaughter, aggravated assault and two counts of aggravated criminal operating under the influence in a fatal motorcycle accident in 2014 has been dismissed because he has died.

Steven Thomas, 54, of Califon, N.J., was charged six months after turning in front of an oncoming motorcycle on Route 2 in Bethel, killing Timothy Daigle, 43, of New Boston, N.H., and seriously injuring passenger Patricia Ensigh, also of New Boston.

According to Oxford County Superior Court records, Assistant District Attorney Richard Beauchesne dismissed the indictment in November because Thomas was deceased.

According to an obituary with Jones-Rich-Hutchins Funeral Home, Thomas died Sept. 28, 2015.

Daigle was driving west on Route 2 on June 29, 2014, when Thomas tried to turn onto Sunday River Road and hit Daigle, who died at the scene. Thomas and his wife, Allison Smith, were taken to Rumford Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

According to court records, Thomas’ blood alcohol content was 0.08 percent at the time.

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Thomas had pleaded not guilty to all four felony charges and had been awaiting trial on personal recognizance bail.

In June 2015, Thomas’ attorney, Paul Dumas, filed a motion to continue the case on the grounds that the state may not have provided the defendant with all of the evidence, including DVDs taken by police at the crash scene.

According to Dumas, prosecutors produced a video labeled “actual crash video” with images of the aftermath of the crash. Beauchesne told the court that video was the only one taken, but Dumas argued that it “strained credibility to suggest that a person would label a video recording after the crash ‘actual crash video.'”

The court allowed the case to be continued, but there were no additional motions filed or hearings scheduled between the request for continuance and when Thomas died.

At the time of the crash, Thomas and his wife were the principal owners of Custard, a limited liability company that owns the Sudbury Inn, a bed and breakfast in Bethel.

According to the company’s 2016 annual report filed with the Maine Secretary of State in February, Smith is now the sole owner.

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