LANCASTER — Both parties in the negligent homicide case against Volodymyr Zhukovskyy have agreed to extend the 90-day deadline to take the case to grand jury.
Zhukovskyy, 23, of Westfield, Mass., was arrested on June 24 and charged with seven counts of negligent homicide in the death of the “Fallen Seven” Jarhead motorcyclists. Under New Hampshire law, the state has 90 days to obtain a grand jury indictment or the case is dismissed without prejudice.
The Coos County grand jury is not meeting in September, and in its motion to the court, the state said it was still investigating when earlier grand juries met. It requested an extension until the next grand jury meets on Oct. 18. The state said the defense counsel Attorney Jay Duguay has agreed with its request for an extension until the October grand jury.
Normally the state has 10 days to provide the defense with discovery after an incarcerated defendant is arraigned. But the state said the law allows the court to extend the discovery deadlines for “complex case types.”
The court had already approved extending the deadline to July 29, with all final discovery completed by Aug, 12. The state is now requesting a second extension.
The state said it has turned over “thousands of items of discovery and hours of recorded interviews” to the defense and continues to provide the defendant with discovery. But given what the state calls the “unique size and scope” of the investigation, it said some discovery would not be ready by Aug. 12, including the individual autopsy reports of the victims and the complete forensic analysis of the accident scene.
The state requested the court extend the deadline. The motion said Duguay has indicated the defense will file a pleading in response to the motion.
A Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration report last week said Zhukovskyy was under the influence of drugs and reaching for a beverage when his pickup truck crossed the center yellow line and crashed into the motorcyclists on Route 2 in Randolph on July 21.