I talked to DA James A. Murphy III today, asking him about
David Jelenik, who I had heard was supposed to be in court today (The story for that will be found here when I write it in about 15 minutes), but we got off on the topic of Dennis Drue, the
driver who allegedly caused an accident killing two Shen students and injured
one other and a Shaker student. He was indicted yesterday on 59 counts for the accident.
He posted his $100,000 bail bond and last night he also turned over his shotgun — a requirement
of his arraignment. He is expected to turn over BOTH of his licenses (One for
Dennis Drue and the other for Dennis Toomer, which was his former name) today.
They were revoked, also as a requirement of bail.
In our conversation, he said he got a lot of questions from
reporters yesterday about why his driving record was relevant to his bail,
since Murphy argued he represented a “substantial flight risk.”
He said Drue didn’t show up to court for five of the 13 speeding tickets he was issued in four and a half years.
Whether that translates to skipping out on manslaughter charges I don't know, but Murphy said the driving record was relevant.
“Our purpose in bringing up his four accidents and his
miserable DMV record is to try to show his character, his failure to make court
appearances and that he tends to put himself above everyone else,” he said.
Monday, Drue’s attorney, Stephen Coffey, maintained his
client did not commit any crime in the crash, regardless of his driving record.
He said his client was being made a “scapegoat” by the DA for the accident.
“I’m simply saying, reality is that the public’s perception,
because of this terrible accident, is that he is guilty. In fact, a couple
hundred years ago we wouldn’t even need a trial because we got a tree, some
rope and that’s all you need,” he said.
Early blood-alcohol tests show Drue was not legally drunk
behind the wheel. Murphy said blood-tests indicated he had “active” THC in his
system, indicating he had recently smoked marijuana and it was still working in
his system during the crash, and he had SOME alcohol, so they charged the “driving
while ability impaired by a combination of drugs and alcohol” charge, which
doesn’t require a specific BAC or level of THC.
Anyway, below is his driving record and the indictment.
Drue Indictment, Driving Record
Labels: Dennis Drue, James A. Murphy III, Police and Courts