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Iowa football player pleads guilty to OWI


A University of Iowa football player has pleaded guilty to driving drunk in early December, court records show.

Brandon Paul Snyder, 22, pleaded guilty Thursday to operating while intoxicated-first offense, a serious misdemeanor, after he was pulled over on the morning of Dec. 10 in Iowa City, according to court documents.

As part of a plea deal, prosecutors agreed the safety could avoid their recommended two days in jail if he participated in the Kirkwood Community College OWI Weekend Program. He may also be fined $1,250.

Snyder was pulled over in a gray 2017 Dodge Challenger at about 3 a.m. Dec. 10 at Melrose Avenue and Hawkins Drive, near Kinnick Stadium, police said. He had bloodshot, watery eyes, dilated pupils, eyelid tremors, impaired speech and smelled of alcohol, according to a criminal complaint.

Police said Snyder admitted he had been drinking. He was wearing multiple wristbands and failed a breathalyzer test, authorities said. He was booked into the Johnson County jail and released less than seven hours later.

A breathalyzer test later showed Snyder’s blood alcohol content was .163 percent, more than twice the legal limit.

In a previous statement, head football coach Kirk Ferentz said the athletic department was “very disappointed to learn of Brandon’s involvement.” An athletic department spokesman said Monday that Snyder remains on the team.

Snyder, a starter at free safety throughout his sophomore season in 2016, tore his left knee ACL for the first time during spring practices and underwent surgery in April.

The 214-pound, 6-foot-1 junior returned to the field for the Hawkeyes less than six months later, when he played almost the entire game in Iowa’s 45-16 victory over Illinois in October and returned an 89-yard interception for a touchdown. It was also during that game that Snyder re-injured his ACL, sidelining him for the season.

He was expected to undergo a second surgery and be eligible to return to the field by June.

Snyder was the Hawkeyes’ third-leading tackler in 2016, with 85 stops. He led the team with three forced fumbles and also tied for the team lead in interceptions with three and fumble recoveries with two in his first season as a starting free safety.

He was the only junior on the Hawkeyes’ leadership team this season despite his injury.

DA accused of reckless driving now teaching at WNMU

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The New Mexico District Attorney infamously captured on video getting out of a potential DWI arrest now has a second job.

Despite being charged with using her job to obtain personal benefits, a New Mexico college has hired her as a part-time professor.

The University says she was the only applicant qualified for the job.


Francesca Estevez is the Grant County District Attorney.

“I didn’t think I did anything wrong, except I swerved to remain control,” says Estevez.

Back in 2016, a witness saw her weaving all over the highway near Silver City on a weekend in her government-issued car.

“Going off the road… Going head on! Other cars coming!” says the caller.

Silver City Police suspected she was drunk, but never tested her and sent her on her way.

The attorney general eventually charged her with reckless driving and for using her work car for personal gain and ethics violations.

As she waits for her trail to start in June, Estevez can add another job skill to her resume: teacher at Western New Mexico University.

“Ms. Estevez is on contract in a temporary position to instruct the Police Academy cadets,” says Gilbert Najar, Police Academy Director at WMNU.

The Police Acadamy Director says Estevez is teaching police cadets how to become a police officer. She is getting paid about $5,500 for the part-time job.

Najar says it is only going to last until April when a full-time professor comes on board.

“We were successful in finding an applicant here locally, current District Court Judge Aldrich will be assuming that position.”

Even though Estevez is controversial, Najar says he stands by his hire.

“I can’t comment on any pending legal actions,” Najar says, “Based on her qualifications, history and experience, knowledge, her doctorate and everything that I considered, she does meet the requirements.”

Najar says the cadets do not seem to mind their instructor’s history.

“I’ve not received any negative feedback on her instruction today,” says Najar.

Estevez is still in the District Attorney in Grant County. She easily won re-election after the now-infamous traffic stop.

Former Eagles fullback Jon Ritchie arrested for DUI

The celebrations in Philadelphia last week were mostly peaceful, but not necessarily without incident.

According to Rob Torone of, former Eagles fullback and local radio personality Jon Ritchie was arrested for DUI and simple assault last Friday morning, hours after fans packed the streets for a victory parade.

The 43-year-old Ritchie also faces charges of recklessly endangering another person. He was released without bail, and has a court date on March 14.

Ritchie co-hosts a midday show on WIP radio and former Eagles offensive lineman Tra Thomas filled in for him Friday.

A former third-round pick of the Raiders, Ritchie spent five years with the Raiders, and also ran unsuccessfully for state Senate in 2016.

DUI suspect arrested after Lamborghini crashes into construction trailer

DUI suspect arrested after Lamborghini crashes into construction trailer in Costa Mesa
A green Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera became wedged under a construction trailer after crashing in the 1600 block of Whittier Avenue in Costa Mesa early Saturday. The driver was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, police said. (Courtesy of Costa Mesa Police Department)

A 31-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving early Saturday after a green Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera crashed into and became wedged underneath a construction trailer in Costa Mesa, police said.

Costa Mesa police responded to a report of the crash in the 1600 block of Whittier Avenue at 2:10 a.m.

The driver, Cesar Castro Rodriguez of Westminster, was not injured and was looking for his 25-year-old passenger when authorities arrived, police said.

Rodriguez was arrested at the scene.

Costa Mesa Fire & Rescue crews spent 45 minutes cutting through the floor of the trailer to get to the passenger side of the car, a V-10 luxury sports model with more than 500 horsepower that when new cost around $200,000.

However, no one was in the car. The passenger had left and was found at his home two hours later with minor injuries, police said.

Boston police officer arraigned on drunken driving charges

An off-duty Boston police officer was allegedly drunk and speeding when his truck collided with another vehicle on New Year’s Day in Dorchester, leaving one man with a life-threatening brain injury, kidney and spleen lacerations, and a fractured pelvis, court records show.

The details were made public after the arraignment Friday of Domenic A. Columbo, a six-year veteran of the force, in Dorchester District Court on charges of operating under the influence of alcohol causing serious injury and negligence.

A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf. Prosecutors did not seek bail.

Columbo, 39, dressed in a dark-colored suit, left court without speaking to reporters. His lawyer also declined to comment.

Authorities allege that Columbo was intoxicated shortly before 3:30 a.m. when his Ford F-150 struck a Honda Accord sedan in the area of Columbia Road and Ceylon Street.

The Accord sustained “major damage” to the passenger-side front and rear doors, and a passenger in the car, Jose Teixeira, suffered injuries so severe that police called the Homicide Unit and Fatal Collision Investigative Team to the scene, the report said.

Teixeira, who turns 21 on Saturday, ultimately survived, but he was initially rushed to Boston Medical Center with a litany of critical injuries.

They included a “life threatening brain injury requiring surgery (craniectomy), laceration to his kidney and spleen requiring surgery, pelvis and rib fractures requiring surgery, and a fractured right femur requiring surgery,” the report said.

Teixeira’s condition Friday wasn’t known, and his family couldn’t be reached for comment.

The driver of the Accord, Jose Andrade Dossantos, 20, suffered a “possible fracture” to his clavicle, along with minor cuts and scrapes, according to the report. Attempts to reach Dossantos for comment were unsuccessful.

Columbo suffered a laceration to his forehead and scalp area, as well as a fractured vertebra in his neck, the report said.

A blood sample taken from Columbo at the hospital showed an ethanol serum level of 141 mg/dl, which is “over the legal limit of alcohol” for driving, police said. Dossantos’s sample showed no ethanol detected.

Columbo’s ethanol reading suggests a blood alcohol content of 0.11 or greater at the time of the crash, according to Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office. The legal limit is .08.

Witnesses told investigators that Columbo’s truck was “definitely going fast” and “speeding really fast” at the time of the collision, the report said.

Columbo is currently on paid administrative leave, and his next court date is scheduled for March 23.

Asked for comment Friday, a Boston police spokesman referred a reporter to a prior statement from Commissioner William B. Evans.

“My officers are expected to abide by the same laws they are sworn to uphold,” Evans said. “No one is above the law, and those who break it will be held accountable. I am happy to hear that all those injured will recover, and I take this opportunity to remind everyone not to drink and drive.”

Authorities have said Columbo has no prior disciplinary history, and he received a department commendation in 2014 for helping to save the life of a stabbing victim.

Police said in a 2014 release announcing the commendation that Columbo and Officer Kevin Plunkett applied pressure to the unconscious victim’s leg wound and created a tourniquet with his belt to “combat the worsening situation.”

Columbo’s driving record provided by the Registry of Motor Vehicles shows two prior surchargeable accidents in Westwood in 1996 and Needham in 2003.

In addition to the accidents, Columbo was cited for speeding in 1998, 2000, and 2001, and for a seat belt violation in 2009, according to his record.

Trial in fatal boating collision moved to late April

Mongan attorney agrees to trial extension to give expert time to prepare report

A trial date was set Thursday for Marc Mongan, shown here in court Thursday. The Oregon man is charged in a 2016 fatal boating collision. The trial is set to begin in late April.

OREGON – The trial of an Oregon man charged in a 2016 fatal boating collision now is set to begin in late April.

An attorney for Marc Mongan, 47, Thursday agreed to an extension of a speedy trial demand to allow more time for a defense expert to compile a report.

Judge John Redington rescheduled the trial, originally set to begin Wednesday, for April 23 to May 3.

Mongan is charged with one count of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, which carries 3 to 7 years in prison, three counts of reckless homicide, each of which carries 2 to 5 years, and three counts of reckless conduct, each of which carries 1 to 3 years, in the death of Megan Wells, 31, of Rockford.

Wells died June 24, 2016, when a johnboat Mongan was operating on the Rock River struck her as it went over the back of the pontoon boat in which she was riding, throwing her overboard.

On Jan. 30, Redington granted a motion from David Neal, of the Illinois State’s Attorney’s Appellate Prosecutor’s office, to continue the case until he gets the defense expert’s report.

Mongan’s attorney, Russell Crull, told Redington on Thursday that his expert wants to see the pontoon boat, which is in the custody of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, then will need 2 weeks to write the report.

Crull is working with the IDNR’s legal department to set a date that the boat can be examined, he said.

The defense’s standard demand for a speedy trial mandates the trial must begin by March 15, unless the defense agrees to an extension of that deadline, to which Crull agreed.

Redington ordered the extension and said the expert must examine the boat by March 2 and have the report turned into the court by March 15.

Neal asked for time to file motions once he has seen the expert’s report.

Redington set a final pretrial hearing for April 5.

Police chief cited for drunken driving

Shawnee Hills Police Chief Russell Baron was cited Tuesday night for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, but his attorney says that his off-duty client only had one beer and should not have been arrested.

A Delaware County Sheriff’s deputy stopped Baron, 34, of Delaware, at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday near the Dublin and Home roads intersections in Concord Township, said Tracy Whited, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office. Whited said the report from the incident was not available yet.

Attorney Will Nesbitt, who is representing Baron, said the off-duty chief was stopped because part of his license plate was obstructed. Nesbitt said that Baron admitted that he had consumed one beer and he submitted to a breath test. Baron recorded a blood-alcohol level of .04 percent, which is below the .08 percent blood-alcohol level specified by the law.

Nesbitt said he doesn’t know why Baron was cited and that his client will plead not guilty for his court appearance next Monday in Delaware Municipal Court.

Suspects switched seats before OUI arrests: APD

Early Friday morning, Anchorage Police say they arrested two people for driving drunk on the city’s east-side.

Around 2:15, officers with the Impaired Driving Enforcement Unit (IEDU) conducted a traffic stop on a pickup truck at the intersection of Duben Avenue and Melody Place. APD spokesman MJ Thim says the truck had just left the parking lot of Cabin Tavern on Muldoon.

After pulling over, officers reported watching motion inside the cab and determined the driver and passenger switched places.

When officers approached the truck, 24-year-old Kristina Huffman was in the driver’s seat, while 30-year-old Eric Alexander was in the passenger seat.

Police reported smelling a strong odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle, prompting officers to conduct field sobriety tests– which were subsequently failed by both suspects, Thim says.

Huffman and Alexander were each charged with operating under the influence and taken to the Anchorage Jail.

School board member faces misdemeanor charge

Steven Kenneth Anderson charged with second-offense drunken driving

CADILLAC — A longtime board member at Cadillac Area Public Schools is facing his second drunken driving charge after authorities said he was tested at more than twice the legal limit to drive.

Steven Kenneth Anderson, 59, of Cadillac, is again accused of drunken driving after Wexford County sheriff’s deputies on Sunday stopped him on Mitchell Street where he tested a blood-alcohol content higher than 0.17 percent, court records state. He was formally charged Monday in 84th District Court.

District officials are keeping quiet about the recent arrest. Most board members — including Anderson and President Mike Stebbins — declined to comment. Others — like Superintendent Jennifer Brown — didn’t return multiple phone calls on Tuesday.

“We’re a pretty solid group of people and I was sorry to read (about Anderson’s criminal charge) this morning because I have a high level of admiration for Steve,” said board Trustee Judy Coffey.

Coffey and her colleagues weren’t certain how the criminal charge could impact Anderson’s tenure on the board. The district’s website noted Anderson assumed the publicly elected position in 2002. His term isn’t set to end until 2020 but a criminal conviction could expedite his eventual departure.

Board bylaws noted a felony conviction would force a board member to immediately vacate their position. Anderson’s operating while intoxicated charge is a misdemeanor that carries a potential one-year jail sentence, if convicted. The bylaws don’t specifically address misdemeanor crimes.

Records state Anderson in 2011 — while serving on the board of education — was convicted of a similar charge of operating while impaired. His prior record didn’t appear to impact his role at the district but it could enhance a possible jail sentence if convicted for his latest charge.

Anderson — who also owns and operates the Cadillac Tire Center on U.S. 131 South — was released on a personal recognizance bond ahead of his next court hearing in February. County Prosecutor Jason Elmore has yet to provide police reports pending a Freedom of Information Act request.

Visit for continued coverage as the criminal case proceeds in district court.

Sheriff’s son gets jail after supplying gun used in homicide

Nikolas Abbott, 23, was sentenced Tuesday, Jan. 30, to one year in the Berrien County Jail by Berrien County Trial Court Judge Scott Schofield. Schofield also ordered Abbott to serve four years of probation.

Abbott pleaded guilty Nov. 22 to three felonies: accessory after the fact to a felony; operating while intoxicated causing serious body injury; and receiving and concealing a firearm.

Abbott is the son of Van Buren County Sheriff Daniel Abbott.

Police say Abbott supplied the gun used in the Feb. 3 homicide of Eddie “E.J.” Holland in Bangor. Police say Abbott sold the gun in Benton Harbor the day after the homicide. It was later recovered by police.

“Prior to our recovery, actually the day after the homicide, Nikolas Abbott decided to report that his gun has been stolen and knowing full well through our investigation that he was actually the one that took possession of the gun and then got rid of it and then reported it stolen,” Michigan State Police Det. Sgt. Brian DeWyse testified during a probable cause hearing on June 27.

Thurman Fletcher is serving at least nine years in prison for manslaughter and felony firearm in Holland’s death.

A witness at Fletcher’s March 16 preliminary examination, Matthew Eide, said he met Abbott for the first time at a party at a friend’s residence at Apple Tree Apartments in Bangor the night Holland was killed. Eide said he heard Holland was mad at Fletcher because Fletcher used counterfeit money to buy marijuana from him.

Eide said he first saw a handgun in the pocket of Abbott’s hoodie then saw Abbott pull out the gun and hand it to Thurman.

“He said, ‘Use it if you have to,'” Eide testified at Fletcher’s preliminary examination.

In the operating while intoxicated case, Abbott seriously injured a woman in a crash Nov. 25, 2016. Abbott told police he was looking at his cell phone just prior to the crash. He said he may have crossed over the center line on C.R. 681 in Van Buren County’s Arlington Township when he hit another car head-on, according to probable cause testimony. Abbott admitted to using Xanax, for which he did not have a prescription. The driver of the other car reported had wrist injuries, bruising and whiplash from the crash.

In exchange for Abbott’s pleas, felony charges of reckless driving causing serious impairment of a body function, felony firearm, false report of a felony, and a second count of receiving and concealing a firearm were dropped.