SOUTH PARIS — A Woodstock man charged with manslaughter in the death of a Norway man last year was freed Friday when a judge reduced his bail and after spending more than a year behind bars.

Ethan Rioux-Poulios

Oxford County Superior Court Justice Thomas McKeon dropped the cash bail for 25-year-old Ethan John Rioux-Poulios from $100,000 to $15,000.

The defendant’s father, Bryant Pond paving contractor, John Poulios, posted his son’s bail so he could be released from Two Bridges Jail in Wiscasset and live with his father.

Justice McKeon told the defendant he could only leave his father’s home for legal, work or education needs. He must abide by a curfew from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. and may not possess keys to a motor vehicle.

Rioux-Poulios was arrested soon after a May 20, 2019, crash on Route 26 in Woodstock that killed John Pikiell, 70, who was driving a 2015 Subaru Outback.

According to a police affidavit, Rioux-Poulios was speeding on Route 26 when the silver 2005 Mercury Montego sedan he was driving rear-ended Pikiell’s car.

Rioux-Poulios fled the scene.

He was charged with manslaughter, a Class A felony that carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

Lewiston defense Attorney James Howaniec said Friday that his client’s bail was excessive, considering the allegations against him and cited other manslaughter cases where his clients had been released on lowered bail amounts.

Assistant District Attorney Richard Beauchesne said each case should be viewed uniquely and on it’s own merits.

Rioux-Poulios had been on probation at the time of the crash for a felony conviction of violating condition of release.

He was held without bail pending a revocation hearing, but he spent the next roughly 15 months in jail without a hearing on the motion to revoke his probation, Howaniec said. He is seeking to have evidence in the case thrown out.

On Friday, Justice McKeon agreed to lower Rioux-Poulios’ bail on both the manslaughter case as well as the probation violation, enabling his father to set his son free.

Howaniec argued that because the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt the schedule of convening juries, there is no telling when his client may go to trial on the manslaughter charge and, therefore, there are “no prospects of this case being resolved.”


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