Annapolis, MD — Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess announced today that Michael Blair Gauthier, 38, of Arnold, plead guilty to automobile manslaughter and was sentenced by Circuit Court Judge Ronald A. Silkworth to 8 years in prison.
“Mr. Gauthier stole Matthew Murphy’s life, and shifted the blame away from himself and onto the drugs he ingested,” said Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess. “The blame for Matthew’s death lies solely with the man who picked up a pipe and smoked crack cocaine just moments before striking him with a 5,000 pound vehicle. Anyone who believes it is all right to use drugs while driving endangers us all. I hope that this sentence brings some measure of peace to Matthew’s family and the community.”
On April 22, 2018 at approximately 3:21 pm, officers responded to a pedestrian struck on Andrew Hill Road and Bay Green Drive in Arnold. Police found Michael Gauthier unconscious with a crack pipe in his hand and his Chevrolet work van crashed into the woods on Bay Green Drive.
The investigation revealed that Gauthier drove off the road at an intersection and struck 12 year old Matthew Murphy who was walking on the sidewalk with his mother and younger brother. Matthew was flown to the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center where he later died as a result of his injuries.
Gauthier was transported to Anne Arundel Medical Center, where he consented to the administration of a blood test. The toxicology report confirmed the presence of cocaine in his bloodstream. Police later tested the pipe and found it contained cocaine residue. Gauthier made statements that he decided to smoke the cocaine in his vehicle to avoid doing so at his own home he shared with his young son.
Gauthier pleaded guilty to manslaughter for his grossly negligent actions. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison suspend all but 8 years of active incarceration, and 5 years of supervised probation upon release. Maryland sentencing guidelines called for a sentence of 3 months to 4 years for the crime.
Judge Ronald A. Silkworth presided over the case. Assistant State’s Attorney Carolynn Grammas prosecuted the case on behalf of the citizens of Anne Arundel County.