The Owner of the “Naut Guilty” Boat Was Found Not Guilty
The owner of a boat called Naut Guilty has been found not guilty, as a judge acquitted 35-year-old Benjamin Urbelis on charges of drunken and reckless boating today.
The ruling from Suffolk Superior Court Judge Linda Giles comes after Urbelis, a Charlestown defense attorney whose ironically named vessel has attracted a boatload of attention, had earlier pleaded guilty of providing alcohol to minors.
His trial came after 19-year-old Nicole Berthiaume was seriously injured by one of the boat’s propellers in 2015 during a trip to Spectacle Island. Fourteen people had reportedly been brought on the 29-foot-long boat for the trip, and a number of them had jumped into the water. Berthiaume became caught in the spinning propeller, and was injured so severely she lost her arm. She gave heartfelt testimony this year that her injury had deeply impacted her life.
Urbelis was not piloting the boat when Berthiaume was injured. Alex Williams, a 26-year-old who once worked as an intern for Urbelis, was behind the wheel. He pleaded guilty to negligent operation, giving alcohol to minors, and tampering with evidence in April.