An Atlanta man pleaded guilty Monday to manslaughter and other federal charges stemming from a deadly rollover in Acadia National Park.

Praneeth Manubolu went off Park Loop Road Acadia National Park early on Aug. 31, 2019, in a crash that killed his three passengers. National Park Service photo

Praneeth Manubolu, 30, was driving when his car crashed off the Park Loop Road in the early hours of Aug. 31, 2019. His three passengers died at the scene. Court documents show the four were visiting the park from out of state and returning to their campground after drinking in Bar Harbor that night.

Manubolu appeared by video before a federal judge Monday to admit to three counts of manslaughter, as well as two counts of operating under the influence of alcohol and one of unsafe operation.

U.S. District Judge John Woodcock asked Manubolu if he was actually guilty of the crimes to which he admitted.

“Yes, your honor,” Manubolu said. “I am guilty.”

Woodcock will impose a sentence at a later date. Both the prosecutor and the defense attorney said the government had not extended any plea offer in this case. Manubolu faces a penalty of up to eight years in prison on each manslaughter charge and up to six months on each of the others.


Court records show that Manubolu is an Indian citizen, but it is not clear what consequences his convictions could have for his residency in the United States. Manubolu lived in New Jersey at the time of the crash and later moved to Georgia. The judge Monday allowed him to remain out of jail on supervised release until his sentencing. The case has been proceeding in the U.S. District Court of Maine because the national park is owned by the federal government.

The three victims were Lenny Fuchs, 36, Laura Leong, 30, and Mohammad Zeeshan, 27, all of New York City. Manubolu and the victims’ families will have the opportunity to address the court at sentencing.

The case had been set for trial in February until Manubolu agreed to plead guilty.

Federal law allows warrantless blood draws only in certain circumstances, and a central question in this case has been whether the government met its legal burden to draw blood from Manubolu without a warrant or his consent. Defense attorney Walt McKee had tried unsuccessfully to suppress the blood sample taken from Manubolu in the early morning hours after the crash that indicated he was intoxicated. Court documents show Manubolu’s blood alcohol content at the time was 0.095 percent – over the legal limit of 0.08 percent in state and federal law.

In August 2020, Woodcock decided the blood draw was unconstitutional and threw out that evidence because police did not obtain a warrant for the blood test and because no exigent circumstances existed. Federal prosecutors appealed, arguing that the time involved to obtain a warrant in a rural region like Acadia National Park would have allowed the alcohol in Manubolu’s blood to dissipate.

Last September, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston reversed Woodcock’s decision, ruling that a Bar Harbor police officer and a park ranger acted correctly when they ordered hospital staff to take the blood sample. Manubolu’s injuries were described as minor, but he was transported by police to a local hospital for observation.

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