Janesville53.7°

Charges expected soon in OWI homicide case

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Mike Heine
November 13, 2007
— The Walworth County district attorney expects to file a charge of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle against a Badger High School junior by Wednesday.

Krystal A. Hart, 16, of Genoa City, is suspected of being drunk and driving head-on into another car on County H the early morning of Nov. 3. The driver of the other vehicle, Everardo Chimal Lopez, a 54-year-old landscaper from Delavan, died about an hour after the 2:43 a.m. crash.


Hart's blood-alcohol level on a breath test was 0.11 percent, District Attorney Phil Koss said. She also told police she had used marijuana earlier in the evening, he said.


Blood test results for drugs and alcohol are pending, Koss said.


A charge of homicide by intoxicated driving carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.


Koss also is considering charging misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia because a marijuana pipe was found in Hart's Mercury Sable, he said.


Although the person who gave Hart alcohol could be charged with providing alcohol to a minor, Koss said he couldn’t charge the person with party to homicide. Wisconsin statutes protect the alcohol supplier even if a person is killed or injured as a result of alcohol consumption, Koss said.


The state's Len Bias Laws, which allow for the prosecution of those who supply drugs that take a person's life, are not applicable, either Koss said. Those laws apply only if the user of the drugs—not a third party—dies from taking them, Koss said.


Police still are investigating where Hart was going to or coming from before the crash, Koss said.


She invoked her right to silence and sought counsel, Koss said.


"That leaves the investigation more troublesome, but we are still pursuing that," he said.


Hart is due in court for an initial appearance at 1 p.m. Thursday. She was released with a signature bond co-signed by her parents.



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