Charges change in boat fatality; Hancock man indicted for manslaughter
By Dwayne Bremer
Jul 11, 2017, 18:11
Eugene Butler, Jr.
A Hancock County grand jury recently indicted a local man for manslaughter in connection with a boating accident last June that claimed the life of 19-year-old Vanessa Mauffray.
According to the indictment, Eugene Butler caused Mauffray's death by culpable negligence, by "the negligent operation of a boat."
Butler was arrested last December and charged with boating under the influence, causing death.
The grand jury apparently amended the charge to manslaughter, which carries a penalty of 20 years in prison.
Boating under the influence causing death only carries a potential penalty of 10 years in prison.
Authorities said last year that Mauffray and her boyfriend had been checking crab traps near the Bordages Marina on June 25, 2016 when another boat piloted by Butler struck theirs, which resulted in Mauffray's death.
Butler was not arrested at the time, but several months later, Department of Marine Resources officials apprehended him at a residence on Lower Bay Road.
He later posted bail and was released.
The next step in the case will be an arraignment in Hancock County Circuit Court.
No date has yet been set.