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More charges for Merrill

Posted Sunday, August 26, 2007, at 6:35 PM

Here's something you may have never heard of before.

Jason Merrill, the young man charged with the July deaths of Peter and Susan AuBuchon, has had two more manslaughter charges tacked onto his list.

He has already been charged with two counts of the Class B felony of involuntary manslaughter in the first degree, one count of the Class C felony of assault in the second degree and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.

Now, added on to that list are two counts of the class d felony of involuntary manslaughter in the second degree. These charges are for the same two deaths.

The only difference I can spot in the charges is that the class b charges reference being under the influence of drugs and the class d's do not. The class d's also carry a lower penalty, until you factor in being charged as a prior and persistent offender.

Since he can not be taken to court over all four charges I'm guessing this is some type of strategy move.

What do you think?

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

It makes me want to cry,when I think of the utter destruction and waste of life all around.

How sad for all the loved ones of the Aubuchon's & the Merrill's,what does it take to get through to people?

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Mon, Aug 27, 2007, at 10:17 AM
Corey Noles' response:
If only we had the answer to that one simple question.

I think they do it that way so that if one charge won't stick then the other one will. Kind of a catch22 if you ask me. By saying that I did not mean that Merrill should go unpunished. In fact, I feel he needs to be punished for his crime, but at least make the charges sensible. You did after all say, "The only difference I can spot in the charges is that the class b charges reference being under the influence of drugs and the class d's do not". Besides killing 2 people another reason he should be punished is he is a "persistent offender".

-- Posted by sweet on Mon, Aug 27, 2007, at 1:27 PM

I am not sure if we should be upset or not....yet. Merrill's attorney had objected to the toxicology being done at Poplar Bluff Hospital after the accident. Judge Satterfield was supposed to rule on the admissability of the toxicology tomorrow morning (Thursday, Aug. 30) I hope this isn't a bad sign for the family.

-- Posted by aubuchon on Wed, Aug 29, 2007, at 11:22 AM
Corey Noles' response:
I hadn't heard anything about that yet. Thanks for the tip. Do you know why his attorney objected? I can't imagine Satterfield ignoring it.

Walsh, the attorney for Merrill objected to the toxicology saying it was not done in a crime lab. As an average citizen, I would think a hospital(Poplar Bluff Hosp.) would be the absolute best place to do a blood test since safety and confidentiality are their main concerns everyday. Besides, Merrill was taken to that hospital immediately after the accident saying he had a facial injury (a cut lip according to the trooper.) The trooper suspected that Merrill was under the influence of something by the way he was responding during their conversation at the scene. The trooper was extremely professional and responsible in his actions that day. The defense attorney is trying to cast doubt on the trooper.

-- Posted by aubuchon on Thu, Aug 30, 2007, at 12:18 PM

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Corey Noles, staff writer for The Daily Statesman and Editor of The North Stoddard Countian, is the author of a regular baseball/St. Louis Cardinals column and also uses his blog to sound off on various happenings in sports. He also operates a weekly baseball mailbag column.

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