By Doug Ireland
---- — BRENTWOOD — Cameron Dearborn’s attorney claimed his client wasn’t driving when the car he was in hit a stone wall and tree before flipping over, killing the teenager’s best friend.
The jury didn’t believe him.
Dearborn, 19, of Danville sobbed as a Rockingham Superior Court jury Friday convicted him of negligent homicide, driving while intoxicated, and negligent homicide-DWI in the death of Korey Traficante, 17, of Derry in 2010. The two were classmates at Pinkerton Academy.
Jurors deliberated for five hours over two days before reaching their verdict at about 11 a.m. Dearborn, his family and friends waited outside the courtroom while the jury pondered his fate.
When a bailiff announced there was a verdict, Dearborn dropped his head into his hands and looked toward the floor.
As the verdict was read, Dearborn’s family and friends gasped. The 19-year-old’s face turned bright red as tears flowed from his eyes. He faces seven and a half to 15 years in prison for negligent homicide-driving while intoxicated and three and a half to seven years on each of the other two charges.
Defense attorney Kenneth Bernard asked that each juror announce their finding. Judge N. William Delker granted prosecutor’s Stephanie Johnson’s request that Dearborn not be released on bail while awaiting his sentencing May 28.
Johnson said Dearborn’s conviction on a drug possession charge following his negligent homicide arrest proved he should not be freed. Dearborn had been free on $5,000 cash bail.
“He has no regard for the orders set by this court,” she said.
“I find with the seriousness of the charges in this case, it’s appropriate to revoke bail,” Delker said.
As Dearborn was led off to the county jail, a woman yelled that she loved him. His family and friends rushed out of the courtroom. They declined to comment on the verdict.
Dearborn’s father swore as he yelled, “At least I’ll be able to see my son again.” He was restrained by a bailiff.
Traficante’s father charged toward him, yelling obscenities. He also was stopped.
Families of both teens sat on opposite sides of the courtroom during the testimony.
During the five-day trial, the defense contended that Traficante — not Dearborn — was the driver of a Toyota Saturn that crashed on Frost Road in Derry on Nov. 20, 2010.
Neighbors and rescuers testified that they found Traficante dead in back seat and a hysterical Dearborn screaming in the front seat, trying to escape through the smashed windshield.
Dr. Jennie Duval, the state’s deputy chief medical examiner, testified that the injuries suffered by Traficante before he died indicated he could not have been driving the car.
Four days of testimony concluded Thursday, with an accident reconstruction expert testifying for the defense and Dearborn taking the stand, admitted he had been drinking before the crash and didn’t remember what happened.
After the trial, County Attorney James Ream praised the work of police and prosecutors. He said the verdict brought justice to the victim’s family.