AUGUSTA — A grand jury will decide whether to indict a 22-year-old Wayne man on charges of manslaughter, aggravated assault and aggravated criminal operating under the influence, after a pickup truck he was driving in Mount Vernon crashed in May, killing one person and injuring two others.

Tyler Goucher

Tyler J. Goucher made his first appearance in court Monday after being freed on $5,000 cash bail following his arrest. Wearing a dress shirt and standing next to his attorney, Darrick Banda, Goucher told Justice Donald Marden that he understood the charges against him.

The complaint alleges that Goucher’s blood alcohol level was more than double the legal driving limit on the night of the crash, according to two tests, and that the black box on the truck, a 2008 Chevrolet Silverado, showed that his speed was 85 mph at the time.

Ethan J. Russell, 19, of Wayne, died in the May 12 crash. Richard Hall Jr., 21, of Mount Vernon, was injured, along with Goucher himself.

After the crash, Goucher allegedly told police that the three men had been drinking at a local restaurant and he chose to drive because he “was the most sober.” An 18-pack of Bud Light beer was allegedly found underneath the truck, according to an arrest warrant affidavit filed by Deputy K. Scott Mills of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office.

Goucher was arrested on a charge of manslaughter, a class A felony punishable by up to 30 years incarceration and a $50,000 fine. He was also charged with one count of aggravated assault and two counts of aggravated criminal operating under the influence, which are lesser felonies.

Goucher didn’t enter a plea to those charges Monday; a grand jury must first decide whether there is enough evidence to indict him.

Goucher is prohibited from contact with Russell’s family and with Hall and his family, and from driving a motor vehicle.

Goucher came to the Capital Judicial Center on Monday with a group of people that appeared to be his family. Besides responding to a few questions from Marden with yes or no answers, he did not say anything during the proceeding.

Several men and women related to the crash victims were also in the courtroom. They declined to speak with a reporter, and the woman working as their advocate declined to identify them.

Goucher’s next appearance in court will be in November.

Banda said he has questions about the legality of the methods the state used to test Goucher’s blood after the crash.

“I expect that there may be some issues with regards to the blood work in the case,” he said. “In regards to how they obtained the blood, it’s a little complicated.”

An email to Maeghan Maloney, district attorney for Kennebec and Somerset counties, was not immediately returned Monday.

Charles Eichacker can be contacted at 621-5642 or at:

[email protected]

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