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Lobster boat captain charged in crew deaths to plead guilty

September 19, 2018

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A lobster boat captain charged in the death of two crew members is pleading guilty and facing four years in jail.

Christopher Hutchinson of Cushing was skipper of the boat when it flipped in heavy waves, killing Tomas Hammond and Tyler Sawyer in 2014 west of Matinicus. Prosecutors said Hutchinson had been using alcohol and drugs before taking the boat out.

Federal court papers indicate the 30-year-old Hutchinson will plead guilty later this month to two charges of seaman’s manslaughter. The crime carries a prison term of up to 10 years. Court papers say parties have agreed to a four-year sentence followed by three years of supervised released.

Hutchinson’s attorney, Michael Turndorf, says parties in the case have “reached a number that we believe in an appropriate resolution.”

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