The Massachusetts man who was operating a motorboat when it struck and killed a swimmer on Damariscotta Lake in Jefferson the night of Aug. 2, 2018 has been indicted on a count of manslaughter.
Jonathan D. Roberts, 44, of Waban, Mass., faces one count of class A manslaughter, a felony, as well as two misdemeanor charges, of class D reckless operation and class E operating a watercraft at an imprudent speed, according to Assistant District Attorney Matthew Gerety.
A Lincoln County grand jury indicted Roberts on Tuesday, Jan. 8, Gerety said in an email. A warrant was issued Wednesday, Jan. 9 and Roberts was arrested in Massachusetts on Thursday, Jan. 10.
Roberts posted $1,500 cash bail and will return to court Jan. 31. His bail conditions include a prohibition on contact with the victim’s family.
Court documents did not list an attorney for Roberts or contact information for Roberts himself.
Kristen A. McKellar, 32, of Camden, was swimming with a friend when she was struck and killed around 8:45 p.m., Aug. 2, 2018.
The Maine Warden Service investigated the incident and turned its findings over to the Lincoln County District Attorney’s Office, according to spokesman Cpl. John MacDonald.
According to a press release from the Maine Warden Service at the time of the incident, Roberts and his passengers immediately attempted to render aid to McKellar and brought her to shore.
Jefferson Fire Chief Walter Morris said that when first responders arrived on scene, the boat, with several people on board, was about 50 yards from shore.
According to an email from Morris at the time of the incident, the boat’s engine would not start and the boat was being paddled to shore while a bystander paddled his kayak out to the boat and helped guide it to a nearby dock.
Morris said a man on the boat began CPR on McKellar while the boat was being rowed to the dock and, once McKellar was ashore, Jefferson emergency medical technicians and firefighters, in addition to Waldoboro Emergency Medical Services, moved her from the boat to the dock and continued CPR, but McKellar died of her injuries.
Kristen McKellar’s sister addressed news of the arrest in a Facebook post, according to the Bangor Daily News.
“Something is better than nothing and it’s reassuring to know that at least it appears to have been taken seriously,” Alison McKellar said in the post. “The lakes belong to everyone and the thought of the state doing nothing has haunted me a bit. Because even though nothing can bring her back and nothing can make it better, there are things that could make it worse. An absence of justice is one of those things that leaves little holes in people, and in the fabric of society, too, I think.”