Welcome Visitor
Sun, Oct 23, 2016
77 members currently online.

Wrong-way fatality motorist seeks reduction of $250,000 bond Thursday
Wrong-way fatality motorist seeks reduction of $250,000 bond Thursday

George Harry Widener
SAINT ROBERT, Mo. (June 11, 2009) — Clad in a striped orange-and-white prison jumpsuit, George Harry Widener showed no emotion Tuesday when he appeared in court for an arraignment on involuntary manslaughter charges accusing him of killing former Waynesville High School head baseball coach Don Nelson in a wrong-way head-on crash.

Associate Circuit Judge Greg Warren asked Widener if he had enough money to hire his own attorney or wanted a public defender. Widener said Tuesday that he will be using the Dan Birdsong law firm from Rolla, and on Wednesday, John Garrabrandt from that law firm entered his appearance on Widener’s behalf.

Warren continued Widener’s bail at $250,000 cash-only and as of Thursday he was still in the Pulaski County Jail. However, a bond reduction hearing has been scheduled at 1:30 p.m. today seeking a lower bond amount.

According to online court records, Circuit Judge Tracy Storie granted a change of judge after a closed-session meeting on Wednesday in his chambers and assigned the case to Maries County Associate Circuit Judge John Clayton.

The crash that generated the charges happened on June 4 when Nelson was riding a motorcycle and was struck head-on by Widener, who was driving the wrong way on Old Route 66 in St. Robert in a Chevrolet Avalanche SUV. Widener was not hurt in the crash; Nelson was pronounced dead on the scene.

Widener, 64, of Jerome, has three prior alcohol-related convictions dating back to 1983. His most recent alcohol-related conviction was in 1999, according to the St. Robert police report filed with the circuit court. In the June 4 wreck, according to the results of a blood alcohol test, Widener had a blood alcohol content of 0.214 percent; Missouri’s legal limit for driving is 0.08 percent.

The charge faced by Widener is a Class B felony which carries a penalty of 5 to 15 years in prison. His blood alcohol level would only have had to be 0.18 percent to qualify for the charge.

Related articles

Coach Don Nelson's family seeks punitive damages; Widener wants case moved away from Pulaski County
Posted: Wednesday, February 3, 2010 8:45 pm

Coach Nelson's children file wrongful death civil suit in wrong-way wreck
Posted: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 11:36 am

Judge warns against lobbying efforts in wrong-way driver fatality case
Posted: Thursday, June 11, 2009 11:59 pm

Bond reduced to $75,000 for wrong-way driver accused of killing coach
Posted: Thursday, June 11, 2009 9:13 pm

THIS ARTICLE: Wrong-way fatality motorist seeks reduction of $250,000 bond Thursday
Posted: Thursday, June 11, 2009 11:41 am

Wrong-way fatality motorist was repeat DWI offender, police say
Posted: Tuesday, June 9, 2009 9:17 am

Local coach, radio sportscaster killed in motorcycle wreck Thursday night
Posted: Friday, June 5, 2009 11:30 am

Motorcyclist killed Thursday night in SR by head-on crash on Old Route 66
Posted: Thursday, June 4, 2009 11:49 pm

Click here to comment for local opinion

Printer-friendly format

Do you know someone else who would like to see this?
Your Email:
Their Email:
(Will be included with e-mail)
Secret Code

In the box below, enter the Secret Code exactly as it appears above *


recent articles

Two vehicles totaled in separate single-vehicle weekend wrecks (1198 Views)