Maine lobster boat captain pleads guilty to causing 2 deaths

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A lobster boat captain charged in the death of a pair of crewmen has pleaded guilty.

Christopher Hutchinson of Cushing agreed to a four-year prison sentence for two counts of seaman’s manslaughter on Tuesday in federal court. Prosecutors have said he had been using alcohol and drugs when he took his boat out in 2014; the boat capsized in rough seas.

Crew members Tomas Hammond and Tyler Sawyer died. Their bodies were never found.

Hutchinson’s attorney said the plea agreement brings the case to an “appropriate resolution.” But the Portland Press Herald reports that the stepmother of one of the crew members objected. She said of the prison sentence “that’s nothing.”

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A federal judge still needs to approve the plea agreement and proposed sentence. No sentencing date has been set.

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