By Stephen Seitz
RUTLAND — Nearly a year after the accident, Craig Mosher will appear in court to answer to the charges of negligent involuntary manslaughter at a status conference to be held Monday, June 6.
According to state police and published reports, Woodbridge, Conn., resident Jon Bellis and his wife Kathryn Barry were headed west on U.S. 4 near the Killington-Bridgewater town line on July 31, 2015, when they struck a large Scottish Highlander bull which had gotten out of its pasture, killing it. After hitting the bull, the car traveled down a grassy hill and hit a tree, according to police. Bellis was killed in the crash. Barry was taken to Rutland Regional Medical Center, where she was treated for a wrist injury and released.
The bull belonged to Mosher, and it had escaped from the pasture at Mosher’s company, Mosher Excavating.
On April 4, a grand jury requested by prosecutor Rose Kennedy determined there was probable cause to charge Mosher with involuntary manslaughter.
According to the indictment, “ … Craig Mosher, of Killington … was a person who acted with criminal negligence and caused the death of another… by having notice that his Scottish Highlander bull was loose and failed to contain his bull or alert others to this danger and, that his failure to take action caused the death of Jon Bellis.”
If convicted, Mosher faces between one and 15 years in prison a fine of not more than $3,000, or both.
Grand juries are seldom used in Vermont. Probable cause is usually established in most criminal cases, but on those occasions where a prosecutor is unsure if the grounds are solid enough, a grand jury is called in to assess the evidence and issue an indictment.
A status conference takes place so that the attorneys on both sides can make motions and let a judge know where the case stands. They seldom last long; Mosher and 17 others are all scheduled to appear at 3 p.m.