LAWRENCE - Prosecutors allege Lowell police officer Eric Wayne, accused of driving drunk and killing a man in a head-on collision in Methuen, was allegedly on his cell phone attempting to flee the scene shortly after the Saturday crash.

Wayne allegedly could be heard on the phone saying there has been a "bad accident" and that he needed to "get out of here," prosecutors alleged Monday during his arraignment in Lawrence.

In a courtroom packed with Wayne's supporters and the family of 26-year-old Briant Paula, of Lawrence, the driver killed in the accident, Wayne, 41, of Lowell, pleaded not guilty to felony motor-vehicle homicide, negligent operation, marked lanes violation, and having an open container of alchohol.

Eric WayneSUN/LISA REDMOND
Eric Wayne SUN/LISA REDMOND

Paula's sister, Lois Paula, 25, who was a passenger in her brother's car, survived the crash.

Prosecutors sought $500,000 cash bail, while the defense attorney asked for $10,000 cash and his confinement.

Judge Lynn Rooney revoked Wayne's bail on a July 4, 2013 arrest for drunken driving and set a $100,000 cash bail in the motor-vehicle homicide case with conditions if he posts bail that he is under house arrest with a Sobrietor, no driving, no alcohol, surrender all firearms and no contact with any victims or witnesses in the case.

Prosecutors also said Wayne did not have a license at the time of the crash and told police his name was Blaine. Wayne's license has been in a "non-renew" status since May for unpaid tolls, according to MassDOT.


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