A former Janesville teacher accused of fourth-offense intoxicated driving did not succeed in getting the charge dismissed in Rock County Court on Wednesday.
Dennis H. Brunner, 50, of Poynette is also charged with threat to law enforcement and resisting arrest, but Wednesday’s hearing was only about the intoxicated-driving charge.
Brunner’s attorney, Jack Hoag, argued that the prosecution had not produced enough evidence to show probable cause that a crime was committed.
Hoag noted the criminal complaint tells how a Janesville police officer found Brunner unconscious in a running car in his driveway on Afton Road, and when asked, Brunner said he had backed into the driveway from “down there,” gesturing toward the road, Hoag said.
But no one saw Brunner driving on the road, Hoag said.
Assistant District Attorney Scott Dirks pointed out that to find probable cause, the law requires only that the court find that it is likely a felony was committed and that Brunner committed it.
In addition, the law requires a judge in making this decision to interpret “reasonable inferences” from the complaint in favor of a finding of probable cause, Dirks noted.
Judge Barbara McCrory agreed and said testimony from the preliminary hearing bolstered the argument.
The arresting officer testified that he asked Brunner if he had backed in from the road, and Brunner said “yes,” McCrory said.
McCrory dismissed the motion.
Brunner resigned from the Janesville School District on March 26.
Brunner stood mute to the charges May 1. A not-guilty plea was entered on his behalf. His next court date is Feb. 13.