Jurors selected for Garcia trial

ELLSWORTH — The jury was selected Monday for the trial of a Bangor man charged with manslaughter in connection to a 2015 fatal crash in Bar Harbor.

The trial is scheduled to begin April 24.

Miguel Garcia, 43, was the driver of a truck owned by Hermon-based Builders Installed Products that veered off Route 3 in Bar Harbor on Sept. 15, 2015, and into a scenic turnout, where it struck a car owned by Roger Beghtol of Hendersonville, N.C.

The impact propelled the car into Beghtol, who was standing outside the vehicle while he was taking photos of the view. Beghtol died from injuries sustained in the accident.

Blood tests taken after the crash showed that Garcia had five different drugs in his system and had recently taken heroin.

Garcia’s defense attorneys are Steve Juskewitch and Robert Van Horn. Juskewitch said Monday afternoon that he plans to file a motion next week asking for evidence from urine and blood tests to be nullified. He said that he questions whether police had sufficient probable cause for the blood test and that the urine sample may not have been collected under state sanctions.

Juskewitch also said there was no evidence collected at the scene of the crash that Garcia was impaired. Evidence of drugs in one’s system, Juskewitch said, does not necessarily imply impairment.

“We don’t have a measurable standard for drugs,” he said. “We have a blood test that shows the evidence of morphine. What does that mean?”

Garcia is currently in Hancock County Jail. His bail was revoked in July after an unregistered vehicle he was driving reportedly struck a utility pole and mailboxes in Bangor. He was charged with violating the conditions of his release, two counts of criminal mischief, operating an unregistered vehicle and operating with false registration.

Manslaughter is a Class A crime punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

Samuel Shepherd

Samuel Shepherd

Samuel Shepherd is a University of Maine graduate and a former Bar Harbor reporter for the Mount Desert Islander.
Samuel Shepherd

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