N.J. man accused of manslaughter makes initial court appearance

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PARIS — A New Jersey man charged with manslaughter in the death of a motorcyclist last year in Bethel has been released on personal recognizance bail after making an initial court appearance Tuesday. 

Steven Thomas, 53, of Califon, N.J., was released without posting a bail bond pending the ongoing case in the death of Timothy Daigle, 43, who died June 29, 2014, in a motor vehicle crash.

Thomas was booked at the Oxford County Jail, and is scheduled to appear in court  May 5. He has not entered a plea. 

Conditions of his release include not using alcohol or drugs, submitting to random search and seizure, and not having contact with the victims or their families. 

According to police accounts, Daigle, of New Boston, N.H., was struck while driving his motorcycle west on Route 2 as Thomas attempted a left turn onto Sunday River Road. 

Daigle died at the scene. His passenger, Patricia Ensigh, also of New Boston, N.H., was seriously injured in the crash. 

Thomas and his wife, Allison Smith, were taken to the hospital.

Thomas’ blood alcohol content was .08 at the time, according to an Oxford County grand jury indictment. Investigators at the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office previously declined to comment on the case. 

Thomas was indicted Dec. 12, 2014, on felony charges of manslaughter, aggravated assault and two counts of aggravated criminal OUI. If convicted on all counts, he faces more than 30 years in prison.

According to 2014 filings with the Maine Secretary of State, Thomas and and his wife are the principal members of Custard LLC, a limited liability company that owns the Sudbury Inn, a bed and breakfast in Bethel.

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