ELLSWORTH — A man charged with manslaughter following a crash on Cedar Swamp Road in Orland Jan. 28 has been released on bail.
Justice Robert Murray Jan. 29 set bail at $10,000 cash or $35,000 surety for Robert Cunningham, 48, of Orland.
Assistant District Attorney Dawn Corbett had argued for $15,000 cash bail.
The Maine State Police said the crash occurred at 4:15 p.m. Jan. 28 when Cunningham’s pickup truck went off the road and struck an embankment.
Corbett cited comments that Cunningham allegedly made at the scene of the crash that killed his passenger, Valerie Seavey, 50, of Orland. Seavey had not been wearing her seat belt and was ejected from Cunningham’s truck, said Maine State Police Trooper Travis Chapman.
“At the scene, the defendant admitted to officers, EMTs and firefighters” that he’d consumed six shots of 100-proof vodka and smoked “two joints” prior to the crash, Corbett said.
Cunningham also made “concerning statements” about his mental health to a trooper who drove him to the Hancock County Jail, the prosecutor said.
Cunningham has a “significant driving history going back to 1991,” said Corbett. His last conviction for operating after suspension was in 2007.
Ellsworth attorney Robert Van Horn, who was serving as lawyer of the day on Jan. 29, represented Cunningham.
Van Horn argued for $10,000 unsecured bail because Cunningham, who works as a carpenter, has been unemployed for the past seven months.
The defense attorney said Cunningham has always resided in Hancock County. He lives with his girlfriend in Orland.
“A high unsecured bail would be appropriate,” said Van Horn, adding that Cunningham is not “a flight risk.”
Murray said “some secured bail” is warranted considering a person has died.
The judge also ordered Cunningham not to consume or possess alcohol or illegal drugs while on bail and consent to random search and testing for substances while on bail. Murray also ordered Cunningham not to have contact with the deceased woman’s family.
Murray also appointed Van Horn to represent Cunningham.