Granby driver faces vehicular homicide charge in crash that killed girlfriend


Staff Writer

Published: 07-13-2023 2:45 PM

BELCHERTOWN — A 30-year-old Granby man is facing four criminal charges in connection with the death of his girlfriend in an early morning motor vehicle crash on July 1.

Cory Menard was arraigned Wednesday in Eastern Hampshire District Court and pleaded not guilty to motor vehicle homicide while under the influence of alcohol and negligent operation; manslaughter while under the influence of alcohol; manslaughter; and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Katelyn Gress, 28, died from injuries in the crash that occurred near the intersection of Barton and Pleasant streets in Granby at around 1:15 a.m.

Menard was driving his Jeep Grand Cherokee north on Pleasant Street when the vehicle swerved into the opposite lane, striking several mailboxes and telephone poles before rolling over several times and striking an oncoming Lexus SUV, according to an account given in court by Assistant District Attorney Andrew Covington, the prosecutor in the case.

Gress, who was in the passenger seat of the vehicle, was taken to Baystate Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.

Gress had been studying to be a nurse at Springfield Technical Community College and was a year away from graduating. She is survived by her mother, Joanne Olden, her father, Kenneth Gress, her sister Julia Burns, and her 8-year-old daughter, Aubrey. The driver of the Lexus, identified as a 74-year-old Springfield man, was taken to Holyoke Medical Center for treatment of injuries that were not life-threatening.

Convington stated in court that that the first three charges are connected to the death of Gress, while the assault and battery with a dangerous weapon charge stems from injuries sustained by driver of the SUV struck by Menard’s vehicle.

Judge Bruce Melikian set Menard’s bail at $2,000 and ordered Menard to not drive or consume alcohol. Menard also will be subject to random drug testing and be required to wear an alcohol monitoring device, known as a SCRAM system.

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Menard is due back in court on Oct. 26 for a pretrial hearing. He was represented in court by attorney Joseph Bernard, who said Menard’s license has already been suspended.