Ex of Accused Wrong-Way Driver Asks Court to Allow Prison Visits | Off Message

Ex of Accused Wrong-Way Driver Asks Court to Allow Prison Visits


  • Glenn Russell/Burlington Free Press
  • Steven Bourgoin
The ex-girlfriend of a man charged with killing five Vermont teens in October would like to bring the couple's 3-year-old daughter to visit him in prison, a court heard Monday.

Steven Bourgoin sported a full beard and shaggy haircut as he sat impassively during the 30-minute hearing in Burlington's Edward J. Costello Courthouse. The 36-year-old Williston man is charged with five counts of second-degree murder for allegedly driving the wrong way on Interstate 89 and slamming his pickup truck head-on into a car full of teenagers.

The last time Bourgoin appeared in public — at his October arraignment — a nurse and police officer helped wheel him into a hospital room-turned-courtroom. The prone defendant, lying on a hospital bed, was still recovering from his injuries and barely conscious as his legal team entered not guilty pleas on his behalf.

Bourgoin appeared Monday because his ex-girlfriend, Anila Lawrence, requested permission from the court to supervise their daughter's visits to the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield, where Bourgoin is being held without bail. Lawrence currently has a no contact order with Bourgoin because she is a witness in both the murder case and a previous domestic assault case.
Steven Bourgoin at a hearing Monday - GLENN RUSSELL/BURLINGTON FREE PRESS
  • Glenn Russell/Burlington Free Press
  • Steven Bourgoin at a hearing Monday
According to Bourgoin's defense attorney Robert Katims, Lawrence did not feel comfortable having a grandparent or other relative supervise the daughter's visits.

"Quite frankly, I don't think there's a whole lot to ask of Ms. Lawrence about the murder case," he added.

Prosecutor Aimee Griffin argued that contact between Lawrence and Bourgoin could interfere with court proceedings.

"Any opening for any tainting of evidence or any conversation about the case would be completely inappropriate in the state's eyes," she said. "It's not as if there's any way to monitor what is being said."

Judge James Crucitti asked for in-person testimony from Lawrence before amending the no contact order. He continued the hearing until May 19.

A trial is expected in February 2018, according to Chittenden County State's Attorney Sarah George.

Killed in the crash were high school students Liam Hale and Janie Cozzi of Fayston; Mary Harris and Cyrus Zschau of Moretown; and Eli Brookens of Waterbury.

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