A Skowhegan man has been charged in an accident that killed James Murphy, of Starks, the night before Thanksgiving, according to police.

Mark Bussell, 38, was arrested Tuesday on a warrant. He was indicted May 1 by a Somerset County grand jury on charges of manslaughter and aggravated criminal operating under the influence, according to Somerset County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney.

“Until we were able to find him we had the arrest warrant sealed,” said Maloney. “It took us until just now to execute the warrant.”

Bussell faces up to 30 years in prison if he is convicted, according to Maloney. He is being held at the Somerset County Jail and made an initial court appearance on Wednesday.

On Nov. 27 Murphy, 67, was driving north on Norridgewock Road in Fairfield when Bussell’s truck hit his 1998 Subaru Outback head-on. He was pronounced dead at the scene. According to police, Bussell’s truck crossed the center line.

Maloney said Bussell had a blood alcohol content of more than .08, but would not give further details. An indictment in not an indication of guilt, but means that there is enough evidence in a case to go to trial.

A retired biochemist, Murphy had relocated to Starks from Boston and owned a small dairy farm. He launched and served as the chairman of the town’s agriculture commission and was also a member of the town appeals board and historical society.

He was a strong supporter of sustainable agriculture and is a former apprentice of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardener’s Association.

A bench and community garden have been dedicated outside the Starks Community Center in his memory.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

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