Judge rejects dismissal of charges for Wimble in Stilwell accident

  • Published in News

Orange County Superior Court Judge Michael Harris rejected Andrew Wimble’s attempt to have charges that he furnished alcohol to a minor with serious bodily harm resulting dismissed.

Wimble, 32, of Waitsfield, is charged with furnishing alcohol on October 13, 2016, to Andrew Baird IV, who was 20 at the time, and who shortly thereafter drove off the road in an accident that left passenger Lindsey Stilwell, then 19, paralyzed from the waist down.

According to police reports, Andrew “AJ” Wimble purchased beer for Baird and Stilwell on the night of October 13 and they drove to Wimble’s house, where they played beer pong for several hours. Baird told police he had had “at least four or five beers” over the course of about two and a half hours. An analysis estimated that Baird’s blood alcohol level at the time of the accident was 0.205 percent.

In October, Wimble’s attorney, Catherine Dux, submitted a motion arguing that the state had insufficient evidence for the charge against the defendant.

In his ruling Judge Harris challenged the defense’s argument that the state cannot establish a prima facie case that Wimble “knowingly furnished or enabled the consumption of alcoholic beverages.” Judge Harris wrote that the state relies on the sworn statements given by Stilwell and Baird to state police troopers on the night of the accident and in the hours afterward.

“The court concludes, without the state having to produce Ms. Stilwell to present further testimony about the state (as the state offers to do), that the state has produced sufficient evidence to survive a motion to dismiss. The evidence shows Mr. Wimble procured beer for his house gathering that including ‘beer pong’ and that after consuming ‘at least four or five beers,’ Mr. Baird left the gathering and operated a car, with a BAC of 0.205 percent and rolled over the vehicle causing significant injury to Ms. Stilwell,” Judge Harris wrote.

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