A Portland man was sentenced Wednesday to serve four years in prison for a drunken-driving crash that killed one of his best friends last summer.

Matthew Doucette, 28, pleaded guilty last month to one count of manslaughter and one count of aggravated drunken driving.

Doucette was driving his car about 100 mph on July 12 when he lost control and veered off the exit ramp of Interstate 295 in Bowdoinham.

The car hit several trees. Doucette’s passenger, 25-year-old Rachel Mooney of Brunswick, died at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston several hours after the crash.

Doucette and Mooney worked together at an organic farm in Bowdoinham.

Justice Andrew Horton sentenced Doucette on Wednesday morning in Sagadahoc County Superior Court in Bath.

The overall sentence was 13 years, with all but four years suspended. After Doucette is released from prison, he will be on probation for four years, during which he will be required to do 1,000 hours of community service. His driver’s license was revoked for 10 years. Doucette also was ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution to Mooney’s family, and a separate $2,100 fine.

Doucette’s lawyer, Ed Folsom, said the case was a tragedy for everyone involved. Doucette apologized once again to Mooney’s family on Wednesday.

“He expressed that he was extremely sorry to her parents and her brothers,” said Folsom, of the Boulos Law Firm in Saco.

“He has to live with himself, knowing that his victim was one of the best friends he ever had,” Folsom said. “One night he drinks too much, crashes his vehicle and his best friend dies because of it. He is bearing the weight of that.”

Doucette had no criminal record and no history of speeding. His blood-alcohol content at the time of the crash was 0.15 percent. Maine’s legal limit for driving is 0.08 percent.

The prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Patricia Mador, said the case was especially heart-wrenching because of the friendship between the victim and the defendant.

“These are never easy proceedings,” Mador said. “I believe Justice Horton did an appropriate job of balancing both the aggravating and mitigating factors.”

Mooney attended Brunswick schools and graduated from the Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone. She attended the University of Maine at Farmington. She worked for Coffee by Design in Portland and at the Fish Bowl Farm in Bowdoinham.

 

Staff Writer Trevor Maxwell can be contacted at 791-6451 or at:

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