By Lisa Kashinsky
A Superior Court judge has denied a request from Volodymyr Zhukovskyy for a hearing seeking potential release as he awaits trial in the fatal Randolph, N.H., motorcycle crash that killed seven bikers last June — siding with the state’s claim that Zhukovskyy has lengthy history of drug use and driving while impaired.
Judge Peter H. Bornstein agreed with the state’s argument that Zhukovskyy’s record shows he has a “pattern of illicit drug and alcohol use” in an order denying the hearing filed Tuesday.
“Based on the facts surrounding the crash on June 21, the fact that the defendant was on bail, the defendant’s drug use, and his prior criminal history, it is clear that only preventative detention will be sufficient to protect the public and the defendant,” prosecutors wrote.
Zhukovskyy’s public defenders filed a motion last week seeking a hearing based on a new report that alleges one of the bikers was under the influence at the time of the crash and that his motorcycle was over the center line of U.S. Route 2 where Zhukovskyy’s truck collided with the Jarheads Motorcycle Club members.
The new report cites discovery information claiming club president Albert Mazza Jr. had a blood alcohol level of 0.135, according to an autopsy report, and that he had been looking back at his fellow bikers just prior to the crash.
Zhukovskyy’s lawyers argued the new reconstruction report by independent firm Crash Labs shows the initial report by New Hampshire state police was “deeply flawed.” Zhukovskyy is being held without bail in New Hampshire as he awaits trial on 23 counts, including manslaughter and homicide charges, linked to the deadly collision.
But state prosecutors argued in their objection that nothing in the discovery “changes the fact that the defendant was impaired” on the day of the crash, saying his blood test showed fentanyl, morphine and benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine.
Prosecutors also cited a Zhukovskyy’s drug use and noted that one month prior to the deadly New Hampshire crash, Zhukovskyy was released on bail after being charged with driving under the influence in Connecticut.
“The defendant’s criminal history proves that he is a danger, and preventative detention is the only way the court can ensure the safety of the public, and the defendant,” state prosecutors said.
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