Judge rejects plea in DUI wreck

2012-07-25T21:30:00Z Judge rejects plea in DUI wreckBy Stan Maddux Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
July 25, 2012 9:30 pm  • 

LAPORTE | A judge Wednesday expressed outrage that a LaPorte man who caused a traffic wreck after a long history of drunken driving offered to spend very little time behind bars.

"You're going to do 30 days in jail. That's it. That's what we get for this?" LaPorte Circuit Court Judge Tom Alevizos said before rejecting a guilty plea and rescheduling the case for trial.

The plea submitted by Jason Conaway called for him to be convicted of Class D felony habitual traffic violator and serve 30 actual days in the LaPorte County Jail.

Conaway, 42, of LaPorte, told investigators he fell asleep just prior to the crash in August 2010 in the 2700 block of North U.S. 35.

Police said he veered over the center line in his pickup truck striking an oncoming SUV driven by Stephanie Wickizer, 21, also of LaPorte.

Wickizer was ejected from the vehicle and is suing Conaway for over $20,000 in unpaid medical bills stemming from her injuries.

Court records show Conaway has five prior drunk driving convictions with the first one being in 1992 and last occurring in 2008

His driver's license was also suspended at the time of the crash.

If the case goes to trial, Conaway could receive up to three years in prison.

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