February 18th thru February 24th in the year Two Thousand and Eighteen
Sunday February 24th, 2019Galveston man sentenced to 7 years for drunk driving
A Galveston man convicted five times in eight years for driving while intoxicated was sentenced Thursday to seven years in prison, according to the Galveston County District Attorney's Office.
Alexander Drake, 40, of Galveston, was sentenced by Galveston County District Court Judge Kerry Neves, after pleading guilty Tuesday to two counts of driving while intoxicated, according to the district attorney's office.
The charges stemmed from two separate incidents that happened over the course of five months in 2017 and 2018.
Drake was arrested on Dec. 23, 2017 in Galveston after he was reported to be driving erratically on Interstate 45 in Dickinson. He failed a field sobriety test, and his blood alcohol content was measured at .158, nearly twice the legal limit, according to the district attorney's office.
In May 2018, Drake was stopped for speeding in Jamaica Beach. He again failed a field sobriety test, and his blood alcohol was measured at .179, more than twice the legal limit.
Drake also was convicted of misdemeanor driving while intoxicated in 2010, 2012 and 2015, according to Galveston County court records.
Drake will have to serve a quarter of his sentence before being eligible for parole, according to the district attorney's office.
Saturday, February 23rd, 2019Woman accused of DUI after wrong-way crash
ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. - A 51-year-old woman was accused of driving under the influence and other charges after a wrong-way crash with another off County Road 210 one week ago, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.
Tracy Mateu was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, leaving the scene of a crash and a DUI with property damage at 6:45 p.m. last Tuesday at 6:45 p.m.
According to the St. Johns County arrest report, Mateu hit another vehicle while driving in the wrong lane on Sampson Way. Deputies said the victim of the hit-and-run swerved at the last second to avoid a head-on collision. Mateu told deputies she did not recall hitting another vehicle.
Deputies said they found Tramadol pills in the woman’s purse and a white plastic straw used for ingesting crushed prescription pills. The woman later admitted she also took a 5 mg Percocet at 5 p.m. that day, according to the arrest report.
Deputies said she was not prescribed any of the prescription drugs found in her possession.
Friday, February 22nd, 2019Services set for father, son killed in horrific N.J. gas station crash involving alleged drugged driver
Services will be held this weekend for the the father and son killed in a horrific crash at a gas station in Passaic County on Tuesday that left three dead and a driver jailed on charges he was driving while under the influence of drugs.
Visitation for Jon and Luke Warbeck will run from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Vander May Wayne Colonial Funeral Home on Ratzer Road in Wayne. A funeral will take place immediately after at 7 p.m.
Luke Warbeck, 17, of Lincoln Park, was a junior at Boonton High School, according to his obituary. Jon Warbeck, 50, of Fair Lawn, grew up in Bergen County and spent three decades as a general contractor for construction companies before forming his own, Warbeck Construction, in 2013, his obituary said.
Luke Warbeck, 17, and his father, Jon Warbeck were killed in a gas station crash in Wayne.
Luke Warbeck, 17, and his father, Jon Warbeck were killed in a gas station crash in Wayne. file
The two were killed along with gas station attendant Lovedeep Fatra, 22, Tuesday morning when Jason Vanderee, 29, careened off Route 23 and slammed into and over Warbeck’s vehicle, authorities said. Vanderee, who survived the crash, was high on drugs at the time and remains jailed on multiple charges, authorities said.
Vanderee, of the Glenwood section of Vernon Township in Sussex County, is due to appear in court on Monday.
Warbeck, who was born in Passaic and grew up in Lyndhurst and Carlstadt, was a volunteer firefighter for the Carlstadt Fire Department, Ladder 1, and a volunteer for the Wayne Fire Department, Company No. 3. Jon Warbeck was also a past member of Moonachie EMS, according to the obituary.
The obituaries said father and son were deeply devoted to each other. They did everything together – riding dirt bikes and quads, camping, and fishing, the obituaries said.
Community mourns victims cut down in horrific gas station crash
Community mourns victims cut down in horrific gas station crash
Jon Warbeck and his 17-year-old son, Luke, were killed in a car crash Tuesday morning while at a gas station in Wayne.
“Jon and Luke were inseparable. It was clear to anyone that knew Jon, that his true passion in life was his son Luke,” Jon Warbeck’s obituary said.
Fatra, the gas station attendant who was also killed, was set to start a new job in two weeks, reported NorthJersey.com.
Billy Kahn, 39, who owns the Delta gas station on Route 23 north in Wayne where the crash occurred, told the publication that funeral arrangements for Fatra are on hold until his family travels from India.
Jason Vanderee, 29, of Glenwood (Passaic County Prosecutor's Office)
Jason Vanderee, 29, of Glenwood (Passaic County Prosecutor's Office)
Thursday, February 21st, 2019‘RHOC’ Star Gina Kirschenheiter Officially Charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol
“Real Housewives of Orange County” star Gina Kirschenheiter has now been
officially slapped with charges stemming from her recent DUI arrest.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, the reality star had
two misdemeanor charges filed against her on February 15. She was
charged with driving under the influence and driving with a blood
alcohol level of 0.08% or more.
An arraignment has been set for February 28 in O.C. court.
Kirschenheiter was originally arrested on February 1 by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. She was pulled over just after midnight for a traffic violation in Rancho Santa Margarita, an area of Orange County near where most of the “RHOC” stars live.
The resulting car stop led to her arrest and she was transported to a jail in Santa Ana at 3:42 AM where she was booked and released on Friday at 12:02 PM.
After her arrest, the reality star apologized and “embarrassed,” explaining she was coming home from a night out.
RELATED ‘RHOC’ Star Gina Kirschenheiter’s Estranged Husband Pulled Over By Cops Days After Her DUI Arrest
“Bad choices have bad consequences. Mine are magnified because I chose to share my life with you on a very public stage.” She added, “I wasn’t ‘unlucky’ I made a conscious decision to do something especially stupid. One time is one time too many. I am awake now. I can promise this will NEVER BE ME again.”
Prior to her DUI, the reality star was pulled over by cops for running through a stop sign and then days after her arrest, she was pulled over again for driving while on her cell phone.
Wednesday, February 20th, 2019Lebanon man pleads not guilty in fatal crash after test finds marijuana in his system
Keith Cushman (Vermont State Police photograph)
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — A 34-year-old Lebanon man has pleaded not guilty to driving while impaired by marijuana and causing a crash that killed one passenger and injured another on Interstate 91 in Norwich in September.
Keith Cushman was arraigned on Tuesday in Windsor Superior Court on two felony counts — gross negligent operation with a fatality resulting and gross negligent operation with serious bodily injury resulting — that allege he was high, fatigued and speeding when he lost control of his pickup truck on Sept. 3 and caused the death of Theodore Haley III and injuries to Michelle Hayward, both 37, of Hartford.
Judge Theresa DiMauro released Cushman on conditions, including that he not drive with any detectable amount of alcohol or drugs in his system.
Cushman, Haley and Hayward were headed south on Interstate 91 around 4:30 a.m. when Hayward told police Cushman fell asleep and drove into rock ledges, causing the vehicle to roll over. Haley was ejected and pinned underneath the truck, causing fatal injuries, according to an affidavit written by Vermont State Trooper Jeremy Lyon.
Police spoke with Cushman at the scene that morning and reported his speech was “somewhat slurred and mumbled.” An officer administered a breathalyzer to test for alcohol and it came back negative, Lyon wrote.
Lyon, a drug recognition expert — an officer who is specially trained to test for impairment from substances other than alcohol — conducted a “partial” evaluation on Cushman to test for impairment and determined that he was “not able to operate a motor vehicle safely” at the time of the crash. Lyon couldn’t complete the test because of Cushman’s injuries. He wrote that he couldn’t opine on what drug Cushman was on at the time; Cushman told police he had smoked marijuana the day prior to the crash.
Cushman consented to a blood draw at the hospital, according to reports, and tests showed he had THC in his system. THC is the active ingredient in marijuana that can cause various symptoms including relaxation, distorted perception and euphoria, according to the affidavit.
“Although the defendant indicated he smoked marijuana approximately 22 hours before the crash, the toxicology showed consumption occurring much more recent,” Lyon wrote.
Cushman later told police that Haley and Hayward were smoking in the truck with the windows rolled up, the affidavit states. Police obtained a search warrant for the vehicle and reported finding a small amount of marijuana inside it.
Since the fatal crash, Cushman has been involved in a second motor vehicle crash in which police suspected he was impaired, according to an affidavit from Hartford Police Officer Sean Fernandes. On Oct. 1, Cushman allegedly crashed into a stop sign at the intersection of Maple Street and Cascadnac Avenue in Hartford and fled the scene. No one was injured.
Because of Cushman’s “poor operation and body language,” Fernandes administered roadside sobriety tests, some of which Cushman struggled with, according to Fernandes’ affidavit. Cushman told Fernandes that he had smoked marijuana earlier that day. A drug recognition expert evaluated Cushman but said he didn’t have enough evidence of impairment to seek further testing, Fernandes wrote. (Cushman had tested negative for alcohol intoxication.)
Prosecutors in that case charged him with careless or negligent motor vehicle operation and leaving the scene of the crash, two misdemeanors that he pleaded not guilty to in November. That case is still pending.
Cushman’s fatal crash case highlights some of the complexities the state has prosecuting cases where a person is accused of driving under the influence of substances other than alcohol.
For example, Windsor County State’s Attorney David Cahill filed gross negligent operation charges instead of driving under the influence-related offenses because of potential problems with being able to prove the latter, he said in an interview after the hearing. Both offenses carry the same penalty — up to 15 years in prison.
In order to find Cushman guilty of a DUI-related charge, Cahill said he would need to prove that Cushman crashed because he was impaired, something that could be difficult with the lack of an objective roadside test that demonstrates marijuana impairment, like a Breathalyzer would for alcohol.
Recreational marijuana use became legal in Vermont last July, and Gov. Phil Scott has stressed the need for a such a test.
Currently, the state pairs a DRE’s evaluation with a toxicology report in court.
Defense attorneys in Vermont have questioned the reliability of the DRE’s work. Cushman is being represented by attorney Robert Lees, who declined to comment after Cushman’s arraignment.
Tuesday, February 19th, 2019Man gets prison for driving under influence of meth
Jeremiah David Krebsbach, 30, of Austin was sentenced to 41 months in the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud for felony first-degree DWI-body contains any amount of schedule I/II drugs on Friday in Mower County District Court. He received credit for 32 days served.
He received a concurrent sentence of 36 months in the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud for violating probation from a 2014 felony first-degree DWI-alcohol concentration 0.08 within two hours conviction.
Charges of gross misdemeanor driving restrictions-alcohol/controlled substance violation and gross misdemeanor driving after cancellation of his license-inimical to public safety were dismissed at the sentencing.
Judge Jeffrey Kritzer issued the sentences.
Court documents state Krebsbach was arrested on the night of Dec. 6, 2018, after a state trooper on patrol noticed a 1997 Cadillac DeVille near the intersection of 11th Street and First Avenue Northwest that appeared to have an illegal window tint. The trooper made contact with the driver, Krebsbach, and noticed that his pupils were dilated and did not constrict when light was introduced.
Believing Krebsbach to be under the influence of a controlled substance, the trooper had him perform four field sobriety tests, two of which he failed.
While searching the Cadillac, the trooper found a green plastic tube that contained white residue, which later tested positive for methamphetamine.
At the Mower County Jail, the trooper obtained a search warrant and took a blood sample from Krebsbach. On Dec. 31, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension sent back the results, which tested positive for the presence of amphetamine and methamphetamine.
A review of Kresbach’s criminal record shows prior convictions for DWI and fleeing a peace officer by a means other than a motor vehicle.
Monday, February 18th, 2019Suspect heard on camera telling black officer: KKK 'will burn your family'
A Florida woman suspected of driving under the influence was heard on camera making racist threats toward a black police officer, according to body camera footage.
Police said the woman, identified as 53-year-old Julie Edwards, levied the threats last Friday night while being investigated for a DUI in Volusia County, Florida, about 50 miles northeast of Orlando, according to charging documents released this week.
Edwards allegedly threatened a Volusia County sheriff's deputy "with a visit from the KKK, a cross burning in his yard and harm to him and his family," the Volusia County Sheriff's Office said in a statement Tuesday. The woman is not seen in the footage, but can be heard making the threats.
While the arresting officer was completing paperwork, Edwards said she hoped to find the deputy, who is black, in a corner alone, according to body camera audio released by the sheriff's office.
"Keep it up boy," she said, according to the footage. "I will find you one day in a corner."
When the deputy asked her if she was "making a threat to a law enforcement officer," she responded, "I won't find you. My KKK people will.
"You f------ with the wrong white people," she said. "KKK's got your a-- boy."
She said the Ku Klux Klan would be burning crosses on his property and said black people should've never been let out of slavery, according to the body camera footage.
"My KKK friends will burn your family. Should never be here in the first place," she said.
She was charged with DUI, prior refusal to submit to testing, resisting an officer without violence and threats against a law enforcement officer, according to an arrest affidavit.
"Deputy King is of African-American descent and knows the history behind the KKK and the pain and torture they have caused and still cause to African-Americans today," the affidavit said. "Deputy King does not know Edwards and does not know her capabilities and takes the threat to be serious. Edwards was additionally charged with threats against a law enforcement officer, 1st offense."
Edwards was arrested on Feb. 8, and taken to the Volusia County Jail, but she was no longer in custody as of Thursday evening, court records show.
She is scheduled to appear in court on March 6. It's unclear if she has retained an attorney.