DEDHAM — A former intern in the Norfolk district attorney’s office pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges stemming from a car crash in May that killed his former girlfriend while he was allegedly drunk behind the wheel.
Sean Jackman, 24, of Stoughton, wore a gray suit and looked straight ahead as he entered his plea to motor vehicle homicide and motor vehicle manslaughter charges during the brief hearing in Norfolk Superior Court, with his family and relatives of the victim, Evan Bard, looking on.
The $25,000 bail that he posted after his earlier District Court arraignment remained in effect, along with conditions of house arrest except for legal and medical appointments, electronic monitoring, and random drug and alcohol screening. Jackman is facing the manslaughter charge because of the recklessness of the crime, concerning speed and a .20 blood alcohol level, the Suffolk district attorney’s office said. He could face a maximum of 20 years in prison on that charge. Motor vehicle homicide deals with negligence, and the maximum sentence, if convicted, is 15 years in prison.
Jackman and his family left court without commenting.
Bard’s great uncle, Norm Minor of Sutton, said the family continues to grieve. “She was intelligent, bright, sociable, both on campus and academically,” Minor said of Bard, who was a Curry College nursing student.
According to a Canton police report and Bard’s friends at Curry, she and Jackman had dated, then broke off their relationship, but stayed friends. They were returning from a wedding when the crash took place late on the night of May 10 on Bolivar Street, records show.
Bard, 20, of Agawam, was in the front passenger seat of Jackman’s Toyota Corolla when the car smashed into a wall and a tree in front of the Waterfall Apartments in Canton.
Bard suffered catastrophic head injuries. She was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after midnight.
A nurse who stopped to help told police that Jackman was alive but not responsive when she found him in the driver’s seat. A Canton police officer and two Canton firefighters who rushed Jackman to the hospital reported smelling alcohol coming from him, according to police.
Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey handed the case to Suffolk prosecutors to avoid any conflict of interest, officials said. Jackman was an intern for Morrissey’s predecessor, US Representative William R. Keating, and is the nephew of Michael Jackman, who worked in the prosecutor’s office before joining Keating’s congressional staff, according to records and officials.
Jackman is due back in court on Oct. 21 for a pretrial conference.Travis Andersen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe. John Ellement can be reached at email@example.com.