A warrant has been issued that would hold a local man without bail after he failed to appear in Rutland criminal court on Monday to be sentenced for causing the death in September 2015 of Bryan Greene, 43, of Leicester.
Shane T. Goodrich, 31, of Rutland, was charged in April 2016 on a felony count of grossly negligent driving resulting in a person’s death and a misdemeanor count of providing false information to police. However, a judge did not find probable cause for the false information charge.
Goodrich was tried by a jury in April 2018. The jury found him guilty of a misdemeanor charge of negligent driving instead of the felony charge.
In July, Goodrich was sentenced to serve seven to 12 months, in addition to a sentence on separate charges for which he was already in jail. That sentence ended in August.
On Sept. 18, 2015, Goodrich was driving a 2001 Oldsmobile Alero north on Route 7 in Pittsford at about 5:50 a.m. At the same time, Greene, 43, was riding a 1983 Honda Shadow motorcycle in the opposite direction. According to police, the car and the motorcycle collided and the Alero burst into flames.
Greene was thrown from his motorcycle over the guardrail, landing in a grassy area on the west side of the highway, according to police, who said Greene died at the scene.
At the time of the crash, Goodrich told State Police that Greene swerved into his lane and he turned to avoid the crash.
Goodrich filed an appeal in August asking that his sentence be stayed until the Vermont Supreme Court decided on an appeal Goodrich had filed. Judge Cortland Corsones granted the request two days after it was made.
In a four-page decision released about one month ago, the state’s high court upheld the sentence against Goodrich.
In his appeal, Goodrich argued Judge Cortland Corsones “based (his) sentence on improper and inaccurate considerations and information” but the Supreme Court disagreed.
Goodrich objected to Corsones saying that the jury’s verdict established their belief that Goodrich had caused the crash as opposed to any fault by Greene.
(Goodrich) argues that there is no way to know from the verdict what the jury determined regarding the (Greene’s) actions. (Goodrich) also complains that the court considered his extensive criminal record in determining an appropriate sentence,” the Vermont Supreme Court decision said.
The Supreme Court agreed that Corsones could not determine what the jury was thinking based just on its verdict but concluded Corsones’ “error in attributing this finding to the jury is harmless.”
“While the jury did not explicitly make such a finding, it implicitly did so given the evidence in this case. In finding (Goodrich) negligent, the jury necessarily rejected (Goodrich’s) argument that he was in the southbound lane only because he was trying to avoid (Greene) who was in his lane. Having rejected that argument, it is fair to conclude that the jury found (Greene) not at fault,” the court wrote.
The decision was issued by a three-member panel of the Vermont Supreme Court which issues what are called “unpublished orders” and not by the full five members of the high court.
On Monday, the court waited more than 15 minutes until starting the hearing. Corsones said notices sent to Goodrich had been returned to the court.
Only Bennington County Deputy State’s Attorney Alexander Burke and Corsones were in the courtroom as representatives of the court. Rutland attorney Matthew Hart, who represented Goodrich during the trial and sentencing, asked to be removed from the case in August. Hart’s request was granted.
There was no attorney in court to represent Goodrich and court records do not indicate another attorney has contacted the court to indicate Goodrich is represented by a lawyer.
Corsones said he believed Goodrich was currently representing himself.
Burke prosecuted the case because of a conflict in the Rutland County State’s Attorney’s Office.