The driver of a truck that ploughed head-on into a group of riders, killing seven and injuring several others, is seeking release from jail pending his trial date which has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
The biker massacre occurred in New Hampshire on Father’s Day 2019 when the Marine Jarheads Motorcycle Club was heading out for a charity run.
Lawyers for Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 24, have now filed a motion for his conditional release in Coos County Superior Court.
Zhukovskyy has two prior drink-driving convictions yet still held a Massachusetts commercial driver’s license.
Depending on verdicts, he faces more than 100 years’ jail time. New Hampshire is now considering increasing jail time for any driver who kills another after previous drunk driving convictions.
Bail has already been rejected for Zhukovskyy because his record showed he had a “pattern of illicit drug and alcohol use”.
One month before the crash, Zhukovskyy was arrested in Connecticut for driving under the influence and refused to take a breathalyser test. His commercial driver’s license in Massachusetts should have been suspended.
The new motion for a bail hearing states Zhukovskyy was supposed to have faced trial in November but because of the pandemic, the trial may not begin until March 2021.
Zhukovsky’s defence lawyers have previously filed motions to block evidence including a crash he was involved in just weeks before the motorcycle massacre as well as statements from three witnesses who claim to have seen him driving erratically on the day.
The lawyers also claimed lead rider of the Marine Jarheads Motorcycle Club was over the centre line and had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.135.
However, eyewitnesses say the truck was over the centre line.
Zhukovskyy was arrested near his home in West Springfield, Massachusetts, three days after the carnage.
He faces a fugitive-from-justice charge, seven counts of manslaughter, seven counts of negligent homicide-DUI, seven counts of negligent homicide, one count of aggravated driving while intoxicated, and one count of reckless conduct.