Court rejects appeal by truck driver in crash that leaves 7 dead


Posted: 09/16/2021 4:50:30 PM

The New Hampshire Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed an appeal for a bail hearing for a truck driver who has been in jail since he was charged with causing the deaths of seven motorcyclists in 2019.

Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 25, of West Springfield, Mass., Is to be tried Nov. 29 on multiple counts of negligent homicide, manslaughter, drunk driving and reckless driving resulting from the accident at Randolph on June 21, 2019. He pleaded not guilty.

The victims, members of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club, were from New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

A judge rejected three requests for a bail hearing, agreeing with prosecutors that Zhukovskyy is a danger to himself and others. After the third denial, in April, Zhukovskyy’s attorneys challenged the judge’s ruling and said Zhukovskyy was entitled to a hearing because both sides disputed facts relevant to his dangerousness.

Prosecutors argued that the judge was not required to hold a bail hearing under state law or use a specific method to assess Zhukovskyy’s dangerousness. The state Supreme Court agreed and noted undisputed facts establishing a pattern of reckless behavior.

“The offenses charged are particularly revealing of the character of the accused and the risk of danger he poses as this is not the first time that the accused has been charged with drunk driving,” wrote the tribunal.

Judges noted Zhukovskyy’s 2014 conviction for driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol in Massachusetts, and that he was released on bail in Connecticut for a similar offense at the time of the accident. 2019.

The judges also noted that Zhukovskyy, in court, noted that it was “no secret” that he had a “drug addiction history” which included drug possession convictions in 2018 and 2019.

“We are not convinced by the accused’s argument that the fact that he was sober while in pre-trial detention raises” significant doubt “that he is currently dangerous,” the court wrote.

“While commendable, his sobriety while detained in a restrictive environment does not negate the undisputed fact that he allegedly committed the June 21, 2019 offenses while driving under the influence of drugs in violation of the conditions of release “following his arrest in Connecticut, the court said. .

The judges wrote that it was reasonable for the judge to conclude “on the sole basis of the undisputed facts, that because the accused had not led a law-abiding life without controlled substances while on release conditional, it is unlikely to do so now. “

It was not immediately clear whether Zhukovskyy’s lawyers were planning another appeal.

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