Judge Rejects Motion To Drop Charges Against Boat Captain
PORTLAND, Maine - A judge has rejected motions to dismiss charges against a Maine sailboat captain who is charged in the death of a crew member who jumped overboard. An attorney for 66-year-old Rick Smith filed one motion to dismiss the indictment for vindictive prosecution and another motion to dismiss for bringing the indictment in an improper venue. The Portland Press Herald reports U.S. District Court Judge Curtis Gomez in the U.S. Virgin Islands denied both, which means the case is likely headed for trial.
Prosecutors say 54-year-old David Pontious jumped to his death off Smith's boat travelling to the Virgin Islands. Court documents indicate Pontious suffered hallucinations and became confrontational before jumping.
Prosecutors argue Smith should have done more to attempt to save Pontious. Smith's attorney argues he couldn't have prevented Pontious' death.