SARATOGA COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Blake Heflin is facing additional criminal charges after a boating fatality on Saratoga Lake on the 4th of July.
The Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office says Blake Heflin, 19, has been charged with criminally negligent homicide (a Class E felony) in the death of 20-year-old Ian Gerber.
Heflin was operating a pontoon boat with several young adults. Police say Gerber jumped off a boat that was being operated by Heflin.
“The lives of those families are forever impacted by the conduct and the outcome of the tragedy that occurred that day,” said Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggin.
Police say Heflin was drinking alcohol and did not take proper safety precautions.
“There was not a chemical test administered by way of a breathalyzer in a police station that day, but a blood test was taken,” said Attorney Matt Chauvin at Ianniello Anderson, P.C.
Gerber was severely injured by the propeller of Heflin’s boat and then he was hit by a second boat as Heflin was turning around to pick him up.
Heflin’s Attorney Matt Chauvin says they are looking into why the driver of the second boat wasn’t charged.
“We don’t have all the information that the sheriff office has upfront, so they are going to turn that stuff over to us,” said he.
Chauvin says Heflin maintains his innocence and he is mourning the loss of his friend Ian Gerber.
“No one ever intended for that young man not to be with us today, and Blake feels that. It’s hard for him having to see the potential of his life being destroyed for something that he very much maintains he did not do,” said he
“There are a variety of factors which we believe this case will bring forth why the charges are appropriate here,” said Heggin.
Heflin was arraigned on September 23 in Malta Town Court and released. He did not have to pay bail.
The next court appearance has not been set, but News10 will continue to follow the case.