Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Man Held in Drunk-Driving Death

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Man Held in Drunk-Driving Death

Article excerpt

A Wright City man with brain damage will remain in the St. Charles County jail on $150,000 bond despite his wife's plea Monday for reducing the bond to $100,000.

The man, Randy Juergens, 30, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the traffic death Sept. 1 of Todd Gibson, 23, a student at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

County Prosecutor Timothy A. Braun says that Juergens was drunk, that he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.26 percent, more than twice required for intoxication, and that Juergens was driving the wrong way on I-70.

Gibson was dead at the scene. Juergens was flown to St. John's Medical Center in Creve Coeur.

The judge scheduled a preliminary hearing on Jan. 2, but Juergens' attorney said he believed Juergens would be found incompetent to stand trial.

Gibson's parents, sister and fiancee asked the court to keep the bond high. His mother, Violet Gibson, said that her son would have been 24 on Dec. 24. She said that for 24 years, she had a "wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful son," and asked the judge to keep Juergens in jail so he would not have the chance to hurt anyone else's family.

Juergens was not in court Monday. His wife, Debbie Juergens, testified at the hearing Monday that her husband had been unconscious for eight days and semi-comatose, awake but unable to recognize anybody, for an additional 21 days. She said that he was able to walk with support at the end of September.

She said that he attended a treatment facility for head injuries four or five times a week from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. She said that she drove him to and from the treatments.

Braun said earlier that he had not been in a hurry to charge Juergens because he was unaware that Juergens was ambulatory. Juergens has several prior arrests for driving while intoxicated. In 1992, he was sentenced in St. Charles County Court to three years in prison on two felony driving-while-intoxicated charges. …

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