Plant owner on trial for gunpowder blast deaths
"Greed. That age-old motivating factor," John McCormick told a superior court jury at the manslaughter and negligent homicide trial of former plant owner Craig Sanborn.
McCormick said Craig Sanborn had decided to save money by skipping safety measures, including "meaningful protective gear and training," and instead focused on what McCormick said was the unrealistic goal of producing 50,000 pounds of gunpowder in a year to fill a lucrative contract he'd signed with a cartridge manufacturer.
"It's gunpowder; it explodes. He knew of the substantial and real risk of placing those men there unprotected," the prosecutor told the 14 jurors, including two alternates.
"How did this building explode? Not getting a license to store explosives didn't cause the explosion. It could've been workers that day that caused the explosion. There are many, many, many possibilities," Sisti said.
Sisti urged jurors not to make up their minds until they'd heard all of what's expected to be extensive evidence.
He pointed out that the 64-year-old Sanborn, of Maidstone, Vt., was at a National Rifle Association-sponsored event in Charlotte, N.C., on the day of the blast.
The indictments a grand jury handed up last year said Sanborn negligently engaged in the manufacture, production, testing and storage of explosive materials. Sanborn has pleaded not guilty to two counts each of manslaughter and negligent homicide.