FARMINGTON — Justice Michaela Murphy on Friday upheld a guilty verdict in the case of a Lincoln man who allowed another driver to operate his car while intoxicated.

Sentencing for Ryan Hurd, 23, was set for 8:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 21, in Franklin County Superior Court. He faces up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

The verdict stems from an accident Oct. 17, 2007 on Route 27 in New Vineyard, where Terry Richardson Jr., 34, of Dover-Foxcroft was killed. Chad Bernier of Medway, who was 30 at the time, was seriously injured, and Hurd was ejected and also injured. All three had been drinking heavily before the accident, witnesses and attorneys told the court in May.

State prosecutors said it was Hurd who was behind the wheel of his car that went 98 mph before it struck a utility pole; the defense said Richardson was the driver.

On May 28, a jury acquitted Hurd of manslaughter and aggravated operating under the influence.

Hurd’s mother, Penny Hurd, and Hurd’s girlfriend, Stephanie Johnston, shed tears of joy and sobbed loudly as the verdict was read.


After Murphy accepted the verdicts, dismissed the jury and released Hurd from his bail conditions, she was told moments later the jury wanted to see her in the jury room. She told them to send her a note of what transpired and learned they had not finished reading their verdicts and that they had voted on a third charge.

The jury remained sequestered during the time and did not leave the courtroom. No one entered the jury room but the court marshal and justice.

Jurors came out and the forewoman read the guilty verdict to the aggravated OUI-accomplice liability charge.

Defense attorney Richard Hartley said Friday that the jury misunderstood the court’s instructions on May 28.

Murphy said jurors had made their decision on all three charges prior to coming into the courtroom the first time, and were trying to communicate that their report on verdicts was interrupted by the Hurd family’s outburst. The fact that they voted separately on the aggravated OUI-accomplice liability charge says they followed the instructions, she said.

The jury did not leave the control of the court, Murphy said. Maine law allows for a jury to be recalled if there is only a moment’s separation, she said. It also allows for a jury to be reassembled after being discharged if they are still under the court’s control.

Comments are no longer available on this story

filed under: