WAREHAM — A Middleborough college student who allegedly struck and killed a father of two as the man rode his bicycle last month immediately fled the nighttime accident on an unlit street and embarked on a bungled, amateurish coverup, a Plymouth County prosecutor said Thursday.
Eric Megna, an 18-year-old engineering freshman at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, pleaded not guilty at a wrenching arraignment at Wareham District Court where the angry and sobbing family of the victim, 58-year-old Michael Dutra of Middleborough, had to be ordered out of the courtroom.
Megna, who showed no emotion as he stood motionless behind a protective panel, was released on $10,000 cash bail on a charge of leaving the scene of a fatal motor vehicle crash. He was driven from court by his mother, who escorted him without comment through a crush of reporters, and is scheduled to return Jan. 8.
According to law enforcement authorities, Megna left the accident, which occurred in Middleborough, about 7 p.m. Oct. 11, and drove to Lincoln, N.H., where his father owns property. Three days later, a court affidavit says, he concocted an alibi in which he called New Hampshire state troopers to report that his damaged 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee had been hit by a deer on Interstate 93 in Woodstock, N.H.
When a trooper arrived at the scene an hour later, Megna said the deer had been taken away by a passerby, the affidavit said. New Hampshire troopers reported that they found no vehicle debris at the scene, and no deer fur on the Jeep.
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