ROCKLAND — The attorney for a Virginia truck driver — who was convicted earlier this year for causing the deaths of two Knox County residents in a March 2016 crash — has appealed his conviction to the state’s highest court.

Randall Junior Weddle, 55, was convicted by a Knox County jury Jan. 30 for two counts of manslaughter, three counts of aggravated operating under the influence, two counts of driving to endanger and eight counts of various trucking rule violations. Those violations include false record-keeping, driving while fatigued, driving while using alcohol and driving while possessing alcohol.

Justice William Stokes sentenced Weddle March 23 to 30 years in prison with all but 25 years suspended, to be followed by four years of probation.

Attorney Jeremy Pratt of Camden filed the appeal April 11 to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

Pratt said Friday the road-side blood test taken from Weddle without a warrant should have been excluded from the trial. He said there will be other issues raised but the blood test is the primary issue.

The case stem from a March 18, 2016, crash that claimed the lives of 45-year-old Christina Torres-York of Warren and 74-year-old Paul Fowles of Owls Head. Tracy Cook of Union was injured, sustaining multiple broken bones and a concussion from the crash that occurred on Route 17 in Washington.

Stokes said Weddle’s behavior of being drunk, being ill and speeding in an 80,000-pound vehicle was about as serious as any manslaughter case could be. The judge also said that Weddle’s claim of accepting responsibility was dubious.

The judge said the pain experienced by family members was beyond description. “There are so many victims. The ripples go on forever,” Stokes said at the sentencing.

The judge also took aim at Weddle’s criminal record. He called it utterly staggering.

“It almost takes your breath away,” Stokes said.

The prosecution pointed out in its sentencing recommendation that Weddle had 12 convictions for operating under the influence and 11 speeding tickets prior to the March 2016 fatal crash. Those were among 51 criminal and traffic violations.

Weddle’s driver’s license was suspended in Louisiana and Virginia at the time of the fatal crash in Washington because of OUI convictions.

Weddle lived in Virginia on the Tennessee border and when his license in Virginia was suspended for drunk driving, he went across the state line to get a license in Tennessee.

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