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March or April trial possible in deadly wrong-way crash

December 17, 2018

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A judge pressed lawyers Monday to complete their work so that a March or April trial can be scheduled for a Vermont man facing murder charges in a wrong-way highway crash that killed five teenagers in 2016.

Steven Bourgoin has pleaded not guilty to five counts of second-degree murder in the crash in Williston, Vermont.

His lawyer, Robert Katims, has said he would use an insanity defense.

In a Monday status conference, Judge Kevin Griffin set deadlines for lawyers to complete their remaining depositions.

“We really need to figure out when we’re getting this trial” and how much time a trial would take, Griffin told lawyers.

Both the defense and prosecution said they were awaiting material from each other.

Bourgoin’s co-workers and medical personnel that treated him after the crash are being interviewed this week, Chittenden County Deputy State’s Attorney Susan Hardin told the judge.

Bourgoin is accused of driving his pickup truck the wrong way on Interstate 89, causing the crash that killed four Harwood Union High School students and a friend who attended Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire. The teens were traveling home from a concert in South Burlington.

Eli Brookens, 16, of Waterbury; Janie Cozzi, 15, of Fayston; Liam Hale, 16, of Fayston; Mary Harris, 16, of Moretown; and Cyrus Zschau, 16, of Moretown, were all killed in the crash.

Bourgoin was also charged with stealing a Williston police cruiser after the initial crash and hitting at least seven other vehicles, causing minor injuries.

Court documents filed in support of the charges say a search of Bourgoin’s home found he was facing foreclosure on his home and other financial difficulties, as well as legal proceedings for domestic issues and a custody dispute with his ex-girlfriend over their 2-year-old daughter. Prosecutors said he also had recently left his job.

Police had said that Bourgoin visited a hospital emergency room three times hours before the crashes.

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