- Associated Press - Monday, May 8, 2017

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - A man accused of driving the wrong way and causing a crash that left five teenagers dead appeared in court on Monday for a hearing about whether his daughter and her mother may visit him in prison.

Steven Bourgoin has pleaded not guilty to five counts of murder in the crash on Interstate 89 in October. He also has denied charges of driving a Williston police cruiser without permission and reckless or grossly negligent driving.

The last time Bourgoin, who’s from Williston, was in court was in October, when he lay in a hospital bed during his arraignment. On Monday, he walked into court, sat in a chair and stood to answer a judge’s questions.

Bourgoin, 36, has been ordered to have no contact with the mother of his daughter related to domestic assault and unlawful restraint charges filed months before the crash, according to the Burlington Free Press (https://bfpne.ws/2psnGP8).

Bourgoin’s lawyers said the woman agreed to vacate a relief from abuse order and wants to be present when their daughter visits him. His attorneys asked the court to change his conditions of release from the domestic assault case.

“We think it’s a reasonable and modest request,” Bourgoin’s attorney Robert Katims said.

Prosecutors oppose the request because the woman is a potential witness in the fatal crash case.

“Any opening for any tainting of evidence or any discussion of the case is completely inappropriate in the state’s eyes,” Deputy State’s Attorney Aimee Griffin said.

Killed in the crash were Eli Brookens, 16, of Waterbury; Janie Cozzi, 15, of Fayston; Liam Hale, 16, of Fayston; Mary Harris, 16, of Moretown; and Cyrus Zschau, 16, of Moretown. Four of the students attended Harwood Union High School, and the fifth attended Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire.

Judge James Crucitti asked that the woman testify. Another hearing is scheduled for May 19.

___

Information from: The Burlington Free Press, https://www.burlingtonfreepress.com

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