AUBURN — The trial of local man accused of racially charged road rage is expected to get underway later this month after Thursday’s jury selection.

Adam Getchell, 32, faces two felony charges and two misdemeanors stemming from a 2013 incident.

Fourteen jurors, including two alternates, were picked for the case Thursday afternoon. A two-day trial is scheduled to begin March 21.

Prospective jurors filled out a questionnaire, quizzing them on their attitudes about race.

A judge ruled last summer that a racial bias charge will be included with road rage charges at a single trial for Getchell, who had sought to have the charges tried separately.

Androscoggin County Superior Court Justice MaryGay Kennedy also ruled in favor of prosecutors seeking to allow at trial racially charged statements laced with epithets uttered by Getchell that were picked up by a police camcorder. Kennedy, at an earlier hearing, had decided to limit those remarks that could be heard at trial.

Getchell was indicted by an Androscoggin County grand jury on charges of reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon and aggravated criminal mischief, each punishable by up to five years in prison. A charge of driving to endanger is punishable by up to six months in jail.

He also was indicted on a charge of intentional interference with civil rights, punishable by a maximum of 364 days in jail.

Kennedy said she would revisit at the beginning of Getchell’s trial the recording of his racially charged “diatribe” and review it again for possible prejudice.

According to prosecutors, Getchell drove a pickup truck on July 11, 2013, in front of a car on East Avenue in Lewiston driven by a 19-year-old on his way home.

Getchell sped past the teen, then cut in front of his car repeatedly, according to a civil complaint filed by the Office of the Maine Attorney General.

The two continued over the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge toward Auburn. Getchell pulled alongside the teen and began throwing things, including what appeared to be tools and a bottle of perfume, according to court papers.

As the teen attempted to pass to the right of Getchell, he drove his truck into the teen’s car, hitting it at the rear of the driver’s side. The teen struck his head from the impact.

He called 911 on his cellphone and followed Getchell into a parking lot on Center Street. Getchell got out of his truck, carrying a club, and yelled, “I’ll fight you, n—-!” and used other racial epithets, according to court papers.

Getchell beat the front and trunk of the teen’s car with the club. A police officer appeared as Getchell brandished the club. Getchell said the teen had confronted him and he was trying to defend himself. He continued to use racial slurs as he spoke with the officer, according to court papers. He was arrested and taken away in a cruiser.

Prosecutors sought a civil injunction against Getchell to prevent him from having any contact with the teen.

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.