The Litchfield man accused of driving drunk in an accident that killed a Litchfield couple in November was indicted by a grand jury recently on two counts of manslaughter.

Shawn W. Metayer, 60, had a blood alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit when he was behind the wheel of a Lincoln sport utility vehicle that crossed the centerline on Hallowell Road and struck a pickup truck driven by Derek Trudeau, 48, police said. Trudeau and his wife, Stephanie, 40, were killed in the accident.

Metayer was arrested by Maine State Police in November and charged with two counts of manslaughter and one count of criminal aggravated operating under the influence. He was indicted on those same three charges Jan. 23 by a Kennebec County grand jury.

The felony charges are punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

The indictment alleges Metayer “did recklessly, or with criminal negligence, cause the death” of Derek and Stephanie Trudeau.

Shawn W. Metayer

The Trudeaus were on their way to pick up their 9-year-old daughter, who was at a friend’s house, when their vehicle was struck, according to police.

In an affidavit filed by State Trooper James Moore seeking an arrest warrant for Metayer, the trooper wrote he could smell intoxicating liquors coming from Metayer’s breath. When asked if he had been drinking, Metayer said he had had three drinks.

Moore wrote that Metayer was hard to understand, and “was having trouble balancing and he was using the vehicle to hold himself up.”

Later, at the Gardiner Police Station, Metayer refused to take a breathalyzer test and also declined to consent to a blood test. At the police station, Metayer complained of chest pains and was then taken to MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta because his chest was injured in the crash.

Moore said he sought and was granted a search warrant, and on Nov. 12, 2019, seized a vial of Metayer’s blood that had been drawn by hospital staff when he had arrived after the accident. He said the blood was tested at the state Department of Health and Human Services laboratory and came back indicating it was 0.19 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, more than twice the state’s 0.08 limit for driving.

An indictment is not a determination of guilt, but it indicates that there is enough evidence to proceed with formal charges and a trial.

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