Apr 19, 2014
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Gunpowder manufacturing plant owner found guilty
It has yet to be decided whether Sanborn will be sentenced on both charges, or whether Coos County Attorney John McCormick will have to choose either two counts of manslaughter or two counts of negligent homicide. In any case, each manslaughter count carries a prison term of up to 30 years, and a count of negligent homicide is punishable by 3-1/2 to seven years. Sanborn is also out on bail on a federal wire fraud charge in Bangor, Maine, Bornstein pointed out, before setting his bail at $250,000 cash or surety.
Afterward, defense attorney Mark Sisti huddled with family to discuss bail arrangements, and McCormick and Assistant Coos County Attorney Stephen Murray disappeared into their basement office in the courthouse. A spokeswoman said they would not be available immediately.
"The planning board said OK. At the very least, they knew it was a flash-fire hazard. The ATF rep, he didn't shut the site down," the defense lawyer said, regarding the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
"They let that whole operation keep going," he said, while knowing it had not been properly set up for gunpowder manufacturing, and that adequate employee safeguards were not in place.
"This case is about people; two people who are not with us anymore, Jesse Kennett and Donald Kendall," he said when it was his turn to address the jury.Accusing Sisti of trying to place blame for the fatalities everywhere but where it belongs, he said Sanborn was solely at fault for the tragedy.
McCormick had said throughout the trial that Sanborn's refusal to implement basic safeguards and provide other than the most rudimentary protective equipment is primarily why the two workers died. Sisti, meanwhile, had from the outset maintained that Sanborn could not be held responsible since he was on an out-of-state trip and was 800 miles from Colebrook when disaster struck.
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