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Corinna man whose baby nearly died from overdose awaits verdict

The judge will give his verdict after further research into the wording of the charges.

BANGOR, Maine — Closing statements were heard Thursday at the Bangor District Court for a Corinna man facing charges related to the near overdose death of his baby daughter in 2021.

Zachary Borg, 26, awaits the verdict for his involvement with the near-fatal overdose of his baby back in June of 2021.

The judge did not make a verdict after closing statements because of the wording of the charges. The prosecution and defense have 10 days to research and submit findings on the "nature of criminal causation.”

“The judge decided to give a decision at a later date and the reason for that is, this really is a novel trial with novel issues, and the reason for that is we really do not have the laws that we need to be able to protect kids when it comes to fentanyl exposure, particularly by parents who are using drugs in the homes," Chelsea Lynds, the Penobscot County assistant district attorney, said. "Our laws just have not kept up with the fentanyl crisis at all, and this is the prime example of that."  

The question of wording came about in part because of one of the arguments made by defense attorney Harris Mattson. 

Mattson argued that if Borg unintentionally lost drugs in the home, he did not intentionally cause his daughter to ingest the fentanyl, citing an analogy of cleaning the dishes with a partner, holding a plate with soapy hands, dropping the plate, and the shards cutting the partner.

“The state is trying to convict Mr. Borg of very serious felony offenses that are just not reflected by the evidence in the case," Mattson said. "I think the state has admitted this. The charges that were brought do not naturally fit the facts of the case and in the judicial system. We are not policy makers."

Many arguments were made back and forth about the wording of each charge and how they apply or do not apply to this “novel” case during the closing statements. 

Lynds argues that after all this discussion, the verdict will shed some light on the growing issue of fentanyl related charges when it comes to the involvement of children.

 “What I really hope is that people in the legislature start to realize that we have to change our laws to protect our kids from this kind of incident," Lynds said.

After the 10 days of research, a time will be scheduled for the judge to reach a verdict on the charges. Borg is charged with one count of aggravated furnishing to a minor, a class B felony, two counts of aggravated assault based on different theories, both class B felonies, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, a class C felony, and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.

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