Lawyers reveal plans for trial in deadly wrong-way crash

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Steven Bourgoin made an appearance in front of a judge in court Friday. Bourgoin, 38, is accused in a deadly wrong-way car crash on Interstate 89 that killed five teenagers in October 2016.

His trial is expected to start the first week of May.

"I've communicated directly with Dr. Kapoor," defense lawyer Bob Katims said.

Bourgoin's team is expected to argue that he is not guilty by reason of insanity and they want to call one of the state's experts to prove it. The state had previously retained Dr. Reena Kapoor as its expert witness but then decided against it after she concluded that Bourgoin was insane at the time of the crash.

Friday, Chittenden County State's Attorney Sarah George said the state has not filed paperwork to block the defense from using Dr. Kapoor as initially expected.

Sarah George: There's nothing pending on that matter.
Vt. Superior Court Judge Kevin Griffin: About whether they can or can't call Dr. Kapoor.
Sarah George: Correct.
Sarah Griffin: So the defense can proceed under the assumption that she's fair game at least at this point to be called, as part of their case?
George: Yes.

But prosecutors do want to counter the insanity claim by calling Bourgoin's ex-girlfriend and mother to his child to testify.

"Her testimony would be offered to prove that Mr. Bourgoin's motive, his intent and the absence of accident or mistake with respect to committing these crimes," Chittenden County Deputy State's Attorney Susan Hardin said.

The state says Bourgoin's ex-girlfriend can provide evidence that Bourgoin used a car as a weapon before after an incident where she says Bourgoin threatened to drive them and their child into a pond after a disagreement over custody.

"He will use a vehicle as a weapon and he just doesn't care who he takes out when he does do that, whether it's himself, the mother of this child or even his own child and, unfortunately, the people who were driving on I-89 on October 8th, 2016," Hardin said.

The jury draw for Bourgoin's trial is expected to happen at the end of this month. Both the defense and prosecution are bringing in out-of-state experts and the state says they have more than 30 witnesses to call.