Driver indicted in fatal dirt bike incident pleads not guilty

Posted: Updated:
NORTH BELLPORT -

A man accused of fatally slamming his vehicle into two men he suspected of stealing his brother's dirt bike in North Bellport pleaded not guilty Monday.

Christopher Bouchard, a 27-year-old Mastic Beach man, faces charges of recklessly causing the crash on Montauk Highway.

Bouchard pleaded not guilty to two counts of second-degree manslaughter, two counts of criminally negligent homicide and one count of reckless driving.

Prosecutors say Bouchard intentionally ran down the men with his minivan. Both victims died after the crash in June.

Bouchard's lawyer John Halverson said it was a "horrible accident" and denied any criminality.

Relatives of the victims had been demanding murder charges, and the top charges of manslaughter prompted an outburst in the court hallway Tuesday.

"This justice system is not just," declared one man, who said his nephew was one of the victims. "They took my nephew's and his friend's life."

A judge set bail for Bouchard at $400,000 cash or $800,000 bond.

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