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Man on trial for death in four-year-old Ocean County boat accident

A man is facing trial for an Ocean County boating accident in which an occupant in one of the two boats involved was killed. He denies the accusation and is mounting a strong criminal defense. The incident occurred over four years ago on Aug. 3, 2008.

It is clear that two boats were involved. One was occupied by the accused and his girlfriend. The other boat had five occupants, including a man who died following an apparent collision between the crafts. Police claim that the accused was speeding in his boat on the Metedeconk River while it was pitch black and left the scene of the accident. He did contact authorities two days later, when he learned that they were looking for occupants of a boat involved in a collision and that someone had died in the accident.

He currently is facing charges including two counts of assault by vessel and one count of vehicular homicide, based on the theory that he was responsible for the death. The 49-year-old decedent was killed immediately. The defense attorney for the accused maintains that the accident was, at most, an innocent mistake, and that, at the time, he thought he had merely hit a log or some other object.

He did not see anything or hear anything to indicate that anyone was injured or in trouble. He says he left the scene of the incident for understandable reasons, since the accident caused his boat to start taking on water, so that he had to get to land for his own safety and the safety of his girlfriend, who was present in the boat with him.

The man faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. He has reportedly turned down several plea deals because he strongly believes he did not do anything wrong.

Source:, "Widow struggles with scars from '08 Ocean County speedboat crash that killed her husband, as long-delayed trial looms," MaryAnn Spoto, Sept. 10, 2012

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