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Lawyer Convicted of Drunken Driving in Fatal Crash

October 4, 1991

ELLSWORTH, Maine (AP) _ A lawyer known for successfully defending clients in drunken driving cases was convicted Thursday of manslaughter and drunken driving in a fatal crash.

A Hancock County Superior Court jury also convicted Edward Cloutier of reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon - his car - and aggravated assault for the crash that killed Daniel Beliveau, 26, in July 1990.

Cloutier, 63, remains free on bail pending sentencing. He faces a maximum of 40 years in jail on the manslaughter conviction alone, said Assistant Attorney General Pamela Ames.

Defense attorney Sumner Lipman said state police did a shoddy job of investigating the crash because they wanted to get Cloutier, who over the years has successfully defended several people accused of drunken driving.

Ames rejected that charge.

Prosecution witnesses testified that Cloutier had at least 10 drinks at a restaurant before the crash. Investigators said Cloutier’s blood-alcohol level was more than double the legal limit.

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