A Cushing lobsterman has been charged with manslaughter in the deaths of two crewmen who were lost at sea when his boat capsized and sank near Matinicus Island during a storm in 2014.
Federal prosecutors have accused Christopher A. Hutchinson of taking oxycodone, using marijuana and drinking alcohol before taking out his boat, No Limits, early on Nov. 1, 2014, with two crewmen aboard. Tomas Hammond, 26, and Tyler Sawyer, 15, were never found after the boat flipped in heavy seas and sank several miles west of Matinicus as it was headed back to its home port in Tenants Harbor. Hutchinson, 28, made it into a life raft and was rescued.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges at a hearing in U.S. District Court in Portland on Monday. Dressed in a tie-dyed T-shirt and blue athletic pants, Hutchinson responded to questions from Magistrate Judge John Rich and appeared shaken and tired.