GARDNER – Winchendon resident Steven Girouard waited six months for the arrest of Juan Medina, the Worcester man charged with manslaughter and vehicular homicide for the death of his step daughter and her boyfriend on Green Street last winter. Now, as Girouard awaits a sentence, he’s concerned the state will let his daughter’s killer off easy.
“First off, they allowed him to be free for six months after the accident, second, now I find out that after all this, after having an open OUI and a record, the judge saw fit to reduce bail giving him an opportunity to get out of jail. My biggest concern is the state going easy on him for any reason.”
According to Girouard, Medina was arraigned in Gardner District Court on Aug. 21, where his bail was set at $100,000.
“During his arraignment the [assistant] DA said he spent 5-to-7 years in jail for drugs and weapons charges along with having an open OUI during the time of accident,” Girouard said.
On Thursday, Aug. 31, Medina attended a bail hearing where his bail was reduced from $100,000 to $30,000.
“I wish they didn’t lower his bail,” Girouard said. “I mean it’s still $30k, but I was much more comfortable with $100k.”
Girouard wants Medina to face the “strictest possible sentence covered under the law,” but after making inquiries into the possible sentences for Medina with the Worcester District Attorney’s Office, he was told that the judges generally give single digit sentences for comparable cases.
“Life in prison would be great,” Girouard said. Later adding, “I think he’s scum, a lifelong criminal who deserves nothing but a cell.”
Here’s what happened, according to Gardner police:
On Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023, at approximately 6 a.m., Sergeant Roger Cormier of the Gardner Police Department contacted Lieutenant Matthew Arsenault for backup on Green Street, where a fatal car accident had taken place.
(The account and quotations in what follows were taken from Lt. Arsenault’s Statement of Facts for the incident.)
“Sgt. Cormier relayed that two parties were pronounced deceased in one vehicle and that the operator of the other vehicle involved in the crash was transported to UMass hospital by ambulance with severe injuries that did not appear life threatening,” Lt. Arsenault said. (The specific hospital Medina was sent to was not designated in the court documents obtained by News Link Live).
When Lt. Arsenault arrived on scene at approximately 6:30 a.m., he saw a black, 2013 Ford Edge in the northbound lane with heavy front-end damage. Resting in the grass just outside the northbound lane of Green Street was a blue, 2008 Subaru, which also sustained heavy front-end damage.
“There were car parts and debris scattered throughout the roadway,” Lt. Arsenault said. “The two deceased were in the Subaru awaiting the Medical Examiner’s arrival.”
The deceased individuals in the Subaru were identified as Nikolas Guzman, 23, of Winchendon, and his girlfriend, Jasmine Colon-Randolph, 23, also of Winchendon. The surviving operator of the Ford Edge was identified as Juan Medina Jr., 45, of 34 Richards Street, Apt. #9, Worcester.
Lt. Arsenault spoke briefly with a witness, Brendan Dellmuth, 18, of Winchendon, who was on scene when he arrived.
Dellmuth said he was traveling in the right southbound lane adjacent to the golf course, with the blue Subaru slightly ahead of him in the southbound passing lane. He said that when they reached Eaton Street, there was a Ford Edge in the southbound lane heading north.
“He stated that the vehicle was travelling straight in the wrong lane of traffic and appeared to have been for some time,” Lt. Arsenault said. “Mr. Dellmuth stated that it did not appear as if the vehicle swerved at the last minute or quickly drifted in the opposite lane.”
Dellmuth recounted that as the Ford Edge approached the Subaru, the Subaru swerved left to evade a collision, entering the northbound lane. Simultaneously, the Ford Edge veered right in an effort to return to the northbound lane, resulting in a head-on collision, afterwhich Dellmuth called 911.
“A few days later, the police interviewed Juan Medina after Medina waived his Miranda Rights,” Lt. Arsenault said. “After speaking for some time, Juan confirmed that he was in Worcester playing pool at his friend’s house. He stated that, at around 1 a.m. – 2 a.m., he returned to his house. He stated that while he was at his friend’s house, he consumed two alcoholic drinks. One of them was a beer and the other was a Long Island Iced Tea. When asked if he takes any drugs, Medina stated that he does not consume any drugs, not even marijuana, because he does not want to jeopardize his CDL [commercial driver’s] license which he needs for work.”
Lt. Arsenault later obtained two search warrants for Medina’s phone, which was located in his vehicle, but the Attorney General’s Office got to it first.
“Chris Kelly, director of the Digital Evidence Lab at the Attorney General’s Office, searched Juan Medina’s phone pursuant to the search warrants and discovered communications regarding Medina’s alcohol consumption. Specifically, on February 26, 2023, at 4:55 a.m., Medina texted a friend [name redacted] and stated ‘I’m Lit.’ This is a common term which describes a high level of intoxication of someone.”
On April 5, 2023, Lt. Arsenault appeared before a Worcester Grand Jury to obtain a subpoena for Juan Medina’s medical records from his admission on February 26, 2023, into a UMass Hospital in the area.
“On April 7, 2023, I received an email from the UMass Hospital with the medical records for Juan Medina from when he was admitted to UMass after the crash,” Lt. Arsenault said. “In these records, he had blood labs drawn on February, 26, 2023 at 0738 hours [7:38 a.m.]. The hospital determined that the ethanol level in his blood at this time was 201. I spoke to Chief Buck regarding calculating the serum alcohol level to a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). Chief Buck is an instructor of OUI assessments and is the statewide coordinator of drug recognition experts. According to Chief Buck, a serum level of 201 converts to a .17% BAC.”
Based on the aforementioned facts, Lt. Arsenault issued a warrant for Medina for the following charges: Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol, Motor Vehicle Homicide while Operating Under the Influence of Liquor and Negligent (two counts), Motor Vehicle Homicide by Reckless (two counts), and Manslaughter by Motor Vehiclee (two counts).
Medina was arraigned in Gardner District Court on Aug. 21.
His bail was set at $100,000.
On Thursday, Aug. 31, Medina attended a hearing where his bail was reduced from $100,000 to $30,000.
A pretrial conference scheduled for Medina on Sept. 15 was postponed to Nov. 3.
According to Girouard, Medina has not posted bail and is currently being held in the Worcester County House of Corrections.
Girouard said he was informed that Medina will most likely have two more court dates in Gardner before the case is transferred to Worcester Superior Court, where he’ll be indicted by a grand jury.