Temores trial set for August

2014-03-20T15:57:00Z 2014-03-21T08:34:09Z Temores trial set for AugustLu Ann Franklin Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
March 20, 2014 3:57 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | The trial of Michael Temores begins Aug. 11, nearly three years after the fatal crash that killed a Lansing father and grandfather.

Temores, 26, of Munster, originally faced 11 felony charges, including the most serious Class B felony charge of operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.15, in the death of Fred Skafgaard, of Lansing, on Dec. 30, 2011.

Lake County prosecutors recently added three additional Class C felony charges for criminal recklessness. These charges stemmed from injuries suffered by passengers in Temores’ vehicle during that crash.

Temores appeared Thursday before Criminal Court Judge Clarence Murray with his new defense attorneys, Samuel Vazanellis and Paul Stracci. The defendant was originally represented by Jack Friedlander.

Members of the Skafgaard and Temores families were in court.

On Feb. 27, Temores refused to sign a plea agreement hammered out by Friedlander and Lake County prosecutors. That plea agreement would have had Temores plead guilty to the Class B felony charge of operating a motor vehicle with a certain blood alcohol concentration with a sentence cap of 14 years.

Temores wanted the charge reduced to a Class C felony, with a cap of 13 years in the Indiana Department of Correction. At that court hearing, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Sabrina Haney told Murray reducing the charge was never a possibility and that Temores could not go into the Lake County work-release program within the first six years.

Skafgaard, a 61-year-old grandfather, died in the car accident near the intersection of Ridge Road and Hohman Avenue when his GMC pickup truck was slammed by a Cadillac truck driven by Temores, Munster police said in the probable cause affidavit.

Before the crash, Temores, then 24, had been at the grand opening of the Hammond club AquaVor, 5260 Hohman Ave., according to the affidavit.

If convicted of the most serious Class B felony, Temores faces up to 20 years in prison.

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