A Vermont man whose loose bull wandered onto a road and was hit by a car, killing the driver, is facing an involuntary manslaughter charge, prosecutor said, and farmers are worried about the harm a conviction could do to the state's agriculture economy. Farmers and friends packed a legal proceeding at a courthouse Monday in support of bull owner Craig Mosher, whose lawyer has called the car crash "a horrible accident." Some farmers fear Mosher's prosecution could set a precedent that stands to hurt the state's economy, whose staples include dairy farming, artisanal foods, and forestry. They would like to see the charge, which carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison upon conviction, dropped, the AP reports.
Mosher, who owns an excavation company, was indicted by a grand jury in April and has pleaded not guilty. According to court documents, on July 31, 2015, a milk truck driver nearly hit the bull in Killington, recognized the bull was Mosher's, and went to Mosher's house to tell him about it. The driver said he banged on Mosher's door and blew his truck's air horn to alert Mosher. The driver said Mosher opened an upstairs window and he told Mosher he had almost hit the bull. The milk truck driver said he didn't see Mosher come outside after a few minutes so he called police. Mosher later told a trooper he went to look for the bull on his property but couldn't find it, went home, and fell asleep. The crash, which happened about 15 minutes after the milk truck driver called police, killed 62-year-old Jon Michael Bellis, of Woodbridge, Connecticut. His car hit the bull and then slammed into a tree. His wife was in the car but survived. The bull was killed. (Read more Vermont stories.)