August 3, 2013

Double-fatal car wreck driver arrested after alleged drug use

Travis Lawler, 23, sentenced Monday in the June 2012 deaths of his sister and her boyfriend, accused by DA of using bath salts

By Paul Koenig
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA — A man who was sentenced Monday to four years in prison for killing his sister and her boyfriend in a drunken-driving crash, was behind bars early today, after the district attorney's office learned he had allegedly violated his bail conditions by using bath salts.

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Travis Lawler

Staff file photo by Andy Molloy

The district attorney's office requested a warrant for Travis Lawler's arrest Friday, after Fairfield police responded to calls about Lawler, 23, exhibiting erratic behavior, according to Maeghan Maloney, district attorney for Kennebec and Somerset counties.

"We had information that he violated his bail through using bath salts, so we lifted the stay," Maloney said this afternoon by telephone.

The district attorney's office will ask a Kennebec County Superior Court justice on Monday to have Lawler begin his four-year sentence immediately, she said.

"When someone violates bail and he's looking at a long jail sentence, we don't want to take a chance again," she said.

Fairfield Police Department Officer Thomas Rowe said this afternoon that police responded to a medical-related call regarding Lawler on Thursday. Lawler was transported to a hospital on Thursday, Rowe said, without naming the hospital. He gave no further details.

Maloney said Lawler was arrested for allegedly violating his bail conditions at 11:50 p.m. Friday and brought to Kennebec County jail. She said she did not know which department arrested Lawler or the circumstances of the arrest.

Maloney said she would know more details on Monday, after receiving an arrest report.

A judge sentenced Lawler on Monday to nine years in prison, with all but four years suspended, and four years of probation, on two charges each of manslaughter and aggravated criminal operating under the influence and one count of violating conditions of release.

Lawler's attorney asked Monday for a stay until 9 a.m. Sept. 6.

"My client has a number of things that need to be done," Scott Gurney told the judge.

The prosecutor did not object to the delay.

Lawler was on leave from the U.S. Marine Corps Camp Lejeune in North Carolina when the car he was driving went off Horse Point Road in North Belgrade and struck a tree.

His sister, Kristin Lawler, 20, of Oakland, was pronounced dead at the scene. Her boyfriend, Jackson Bolduc, 25, of Belgrade, died of his injuries the next day.

A third passenger, Dylan Desroches, then 20, of Waterville, suffered serious injuries.

Lawler ran from the crash on foot and was found about a half mile away on the shore of Great Pond.

Maine State Police recorded Lawler's blood alcohol content at 0.12. The legal limit for adults in Maine is 0.08.

Lawler wore his full Marine dress uniform at the hearing on Monday, even though his lawyer said he was discharged months ago.

"I'm wearing this uniform because it's all I have in my life," Lawler told the judge. He said he always wanted to protect and to save people, and that the crash was the worst night of his life.

Staff writer Betty Adams contributed to this report.

Paul Koenig — 621-5663

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