A Massachusetts man who killed a ten-year-old kayak angler by running him over with a ski boat will appeal his conviction in a state Judicial Court this February.
The story begins on August 7, 2010, when Angler James Adamopolous and his 10-year-old son Gus were fishing from a kayak on Norwich Lake in Massachusetts. It was late afternoon when a ski boat approached them, according to Boston.com.
The boat ran over the kayak with James and Gus inside, tearing off the boy’s arm and puncturing his lung. Gus died shortly after being taken to a nearby hospital.
Prosecutors in the case argued that the boat driver, Steve Morse, was guilty of homicide by vessel for either one of two reasons: He was blinded by the sun, or intoxicated from beer and marijuana. Witness testimony showed that Morse had consumed both alcohol and marijuana hours before the incident.
Morse passed a field sobriety and two breath tests; however, when asked by investigators if he had consumed other substance, he did not mention the marijuana. The prosecution presented testimony from a drug recognition expert to show that marijuana and alcohol can impair a person’s ability to drive a boat. The defense argued that Morse was blinded by the sun’s glare and did not see the kayak when he ran over it.
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The jury found Morse guilty of homicide by vessel and a judge sentenced him to five years in jail. A little over a year later he was out on bail after his lawyer appealed the conviction on technicalities, one of which was that the prosecution’s drug expert testimony was too generalized to show how Morse’s amount of alcohol and marijuana consumption would have affected his ability to drive his boat. Morse maintains that he was blinded by driving into the sun.
A Massachusetts Judicial Court will begin hearing arguments from both sides in Morse’s appeal for the conviction on Feb. 3, 2014.