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Operator of boat that crashed, killing 1, pleads not guilty

November 22, 2021 GMT

BOSTON (AP) — A businessman who was operating a luxury powerboat that crashed in Boston Harbor last summer, leaving one passenger dead and five others injured, has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter and multiple assault and battery charges.

A judge set bail for Ryan Denver, 38, of Boston, at $25,000 at Friday’s arraignment in Suffolk Superior Court.

Prosecutors say that about an hour and a half before the crash, Denver had left an establishment where he had been drinking and that the 38-foot boat was going nearly 50 mph when it crashed into a day marker navigational device just before 3 a.m. on July 17. Prosecutors say a witness said Denver smelled of alcohol.

Eight people on board ended up in the water. Five required hospitalization and Jeanica Julce, 27, died, prosecutors said. Denver, who owns a construction business, declined medical attention at the scene.

Denver’s attorney, Michael Connolly, disputed the prosecution’s account of events, saying his client was sober, was going only about 20 mph, and the navigational marker was poorly illuminated. He described Denver and Julce as friends.

He said the crash was an accident and not a crime.

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This story was first published on November 20, 2021. It was updated on November 22, 2021, to correct that prosecutors said that about an hour and a half before the crash, Denver had left an establishment where he had been drinking and that a witness said he smelled of alcohol, but prosecutors did not allege that he was drunk at the time of the crash. Also, Denver’s lawyer said his client was sober, not that he was not drunk.