Man charged in hit and run remains in jail

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Smith

CASCO — Jeffrey E. Smith, the Sebago resident accused of killing a woman Dec. 18 in a hit-and-run accident on Route 302, is expected back in court Feb. 1.

Smith, now being held at Cumberland County Jail on $25,000 bail, is charged with Class C aggravated leaving the scene of an accident after allegedly hitting Casco resident Lorna Nugent, 56.

Smith, 28, of 4 Intervale Road, was arrested Dec. 19, and made his first court appearance two days later. 

Documents in Cumberland County Courthouse show a disposition hearing scheduled for Feb. 1, with motions to be filed by April 6, and a trial that could begin in late May. Smith has not yet been indicted by a Cumberland County grand jury.

Affidavits filed by Cumberland County detectives and deputies allege Smith ran over Nugent just outside a home at 652 Roosevelt Trail shortly after 6 p.m. on Dec. 18. 

Detective John Fournier said Nugent had been watching football with friends when she decided to walk home. She turned down a ride offer from her boyfriend, Jon Thompson, because he had been drinking.

At that time, Fournier said Smith and his passenger, Karen Kelly, were driving through the area, possibly looking for somewhere to have sex, court records said. They were returning to the home of a friend where they had spent the afternoon drinking, and Kelly told investigators Smith had been using drugs intravenously.

Nugent was struck near the driveway of her friends’ house. The noise of the collision drew Thompson and others outside. Investigators said pieces from the 2002 Volkswagen Passat Smith allegedly drove were found up to 75 feet from the crash.

Nugent was declared dead at the scene about 20 minutes after responders arrived.

Kelly allegedly told Fournier that Smith worried Nugent was dead, then said he had hit a deer and had to get rid of the car.

By early the next morning, Dec. 19, Fournier said he was able to determine the approximate age of the Passat after showing a piece of its front grill to an employee at Morong Volkswagon in Falmouth, according to his supplemental report in court files.

Later in the morning, Fournier began receiving tips the car could be found off State Park Road in Casco. He reported driving to the area and encountering Joshua Clancy of Hancock Road, who lives next door to Smith’s brother, and confirmed the Passat was in a nearby driveway.

After finding the vehicle with a smashed front windshield and front-end damage, Fournier had it seized as evidence, and traced its ownership to Smith’s live-in girlfriend.

Later in the afternoon, Fournier said he met with Kelly in Casco, where she provided details about them leaving the party and driving to Bridgton and back, including a stop at Smith’s brother’s home on Hancock Road. It was after leaving there Smith allegedly struck Nugent.

Fournier also learned Smith was headed to Portland to see his probation officer, Troy Thornton. Court records show Smith was on probation from 2015 convictions for theft and domestic violence criminal threatening.

According to his report and a Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office press release, Smith was arrested by Thornton and detectives.

Two days after Smith’s Dec. 21 court appearance, Nugent’s family members spoke out in a statement released by Lewiston attorney Michael Bigos.

“Our family is suffering the worst pain anyone can imagine. Mr. Smith, you say you thought you hit a deer. We don’t believe you. Your attempts to shift blame are shameful. Stop avoiding the truth,” family members said.

Bigos said he will continue to speak for the family and expects to represent them in any civil actions that may result from the case.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

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