Valparaiso businessman's DUI death retrial begins

2012-08-29T18:15:00Z 2013-02-25T23:11:13Z Valparaiso businessman's DUI death retrial beginsSusan Brown (219) 662-5325
August 29, 2012 6:15 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | Jury selection in the retrial of Valparaiso businessman Jeffery Cleary was scheduled to have begun Monday, but instead kicked off Wednesday.

The delay was prompted by the length of the murder trial of Jeffrey Nemcek, of Crown Point, before Lake Criminal Court Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr., who is now presiding over Cleary's retrial in a DUI case involving a death.

In addition, one of Cleary's three-man legal team, attorney Kevin Milner, represented Nemcek, who was convicted late Tuesday of a lesser charge of reckless homicide.

Court records indicate Milner sought a continuance of Cleary's retrial, which Stefaniak turned down.

Cleary, who turns 66 on Thursday, was charged with multiple drunken driving offenses and traffic infractions after a Hebron man died from injuries he suffered in a crash Nov. 4, 2010, caused by Cleary.

Cleary's SUV struck a pickup truck belonging to 63-year-old Philip Amsden, who was crushed between the pickup and a semitrailer. Amsden had been fixing a tire on the semitrailer, which was parked off the pavement on Interstate 65 near Ridge Road in Hobart.

In December, jurors at Cleary's first trial deadlocked on the most serious of the original seven counts while finding Cleary guilty on two misdemeanors and two infractions.

Prosecutors immediately announced plans to retry Cleary.

Cleary is again represented by attorneys Milner, Marce Gonzalez and Thomas Mullins.

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