Jury selection begins in trial of man charged in deadly wrong-way crash

Local News

Jury selection has begun in the trial of Steven Bourgoin, the Vermont man accused in a wrong-way crash that killed five teenagers in October 2016.

Bourgoin has pleaded not guilty to five counts of murder for the Oct. 8, 2016, crash in Williston.

Five teens died in the crash: Mary Harris, 16, of Moretown; Cyrus Zschau, 16, of Moretown; Liam Hale, 16, of Fayston; Janie Cozzi, 15, of Fayston; and Eli Brookens, 16, of Waterbury.

Chittenden County State’s Attorney Sarah George says 80 potential jurors were called in initially, with another 30 or 40 to be called in Tuesday.

“Sounds like you have some pretty fixed opinions,” said defense attorney Robert Katims to a potential juror.

Before Monday, the potential jurors filled out a 25 page questionnaire. Questions included whether the person knew anyone involved in the incident, including witnesses, how his or her life has been impacted by mental illness and what he or she knew about the case from media reports.

“Do you think that you’re able to put that aside and listen to just what you hear in the courtroom for evidence and make your decision based on that?” asked Sarah George, Chittenden County state’s attorney.

“How about the fact that it was five young people who died in the accident? Does that give you concern about ability to be fair and impartial in the case?” asked Katims.

“They could have been my grandchildren,” the juror replied.

George said the goal is to have the jury seated by Friday.

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