AUBURN — A local man police said ran down another man as retribution for an earlier fatal accident pleaded guilty Monday to a felony charge.

William Panzino, 21, of 336 Merrill St., was charged in connection with a hit-and-run accident that prosecutors said was intentional and connected to a fatal accident in 2006 in Lewiston.

He was indicted on one count of Class B aggravated assault and one count of Class C reckless conduct. Prosecutors dismissed the assault charge in exchange for the plea agreement, a clerk in Androscoggin County Superior Court said. Sentencing is set for Jan. 31.

At an earlier court appearance, Panzino had been ordered to have no contact with then 21-year-old Kyle Karkos, the man he allegedly ran down the June night of a carnival at Great Falls Plaza. Panzino also was prohibited from entering Karkos’ home, workplace or school.

Police said Karkos was walking across the street that cuts through Great Falls Plaza after exchanging words with someone riding in Panzino’s car. Police said Karkos had been involved in a fight earlier in the evening with one of Panzino’s friends.

Karkos was knocked to the ground and taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston where he was released after he was treated for cuts and bruises to his head, hands and back.

Prosecutors said the incident was connected to an accident in which an Auburn teen was killed. The deceased was a passenger in a car that Karkos was driving. The car went out of control and crashed into a light pole, killing Kenny Jellison Jr. instantly. Karkos was acquitted of manslaughter and other felonies at a bench trial in juvenile court.

The case divided their friends at Edward Little High School and the two families and ill will has been simmering since.

At his initial appearance in June in 8th District Court in Lewiston, Panzino disputed the prosecutor’s claim that the 2010 accident was related to the earlier accident. He had told police he had tried to toss a lit cigarette out his car window, but it hit the partially rolled down window and landed in his lap, distracting him from seeing Karkos.


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