News Feature

Ellsworth
Web exclusive, December 1, 2012
Vehicle operator involved in pedestrian fatality charged with manslaughter
Granted bail

by Jessica Brophy

At a bail hearing in Hancock County Superior Court on Friday, November 30, Deer Isle resident Kimberly Phelan was charged on three counts relating to the September 15 death of Deer Isle resident Andrew Ray. Phelan was arrested on Thursday, November 29.

During the bail hearing Phelan was granted bail with the following conditions: with $25,000 surety or $1,000 in cash; that she abstain from alcohol and narcotics; that she submit to random drug tests and searches; that she have no contact with family members of the deceased, Lorena Ray or Colby Welch, and that she abide by a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Phelan’s court-appointed attorney, Jeffrey Toothaker, requested and was granted the date of December 21, at 1 p.m. as the next court date for Phelan.

Phelan was charged with manslaughter, a Class A crime punishable by up to 30 years in prison and $50,000 in fines, according to court documents. The count alleges Phelan “recklessly, or with criminal negligence, cause the death of another human being.” She was also charged with a Class B crime, Aggravated Criminal OUI. That count alleges Phelan operated a motor vehicle while intoxicated and that she caused the death of Ray. Class B crimes are punishable by up to 10 years incarceration and up to a $20,000 fine. The third count, Reckless Conduct, is a Class C crime. The count alleges Phelan operated a motor vehicle “in such a manner as to create a substantial risk of serious bodily injury” to Ray. A Class C crime is punishable by five years incarceration and up to $5,000 in fines.

In a sworn affidavit, Detective Alan Brown of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department said Hancock County Regional Communications Center received a 911 call from Blue Hill Memorial Hospital at 4:41 a.m. on September 15. According to the affidavit, Hancock County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Morang was informed by Hancock County RCC dispatchers that the vehicle involved in the incident, a Pontiac Aztek, had left the scene and was traveling south on the Mines Road in Blue Hill, operated by Kimberly Phelan. Phelan had called the RCC while driving and had been advised by dispatchers to stop the vehicle on the side of the roadway.

Morang observed the Aztek at 5:13 a.m., the affidavit continues, parked on the side of the roadway at the intersection of the Mines Road and Snows Cove Road in Sedgwick. At that time, Phelan told Morang that “she and her fiancée Andrew Ray had been out drinking and on their way home to Deer Isle they had stopped at the Blue Hill town park to smoke marijuana.” While there, an argument ensued, according to the affidavit. During this argument, according to Phelan as told to Morang, Ray punched in the passenger side window and she moved the vehicle away. At this time, Phelan allegedly ran over Ray with “at least the front tires of the vehicle.”

The affidavit continued, quoting Phelan as saying she left the scene because she was “frazzled dazzled.” At that time, she admitted to smoking marijuana and consuming alcohol prior to the incident.

At 6:38 a.m., the affidavit continues, blood was drawn from Kimberly Phelan at Blue Hill Memorial Hospital. The report showed Phelan’s blood alcohol content was .15 percent at that time. The legal limit for blood alcohol content for vehicle operation in the State of Maine is .08 percent.