Court briefs 4/26/07

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Man accused in tanker accident appears in court

A Wappapello, Mo., man accused of causing a tanker truck to overturn on I-55 last month appeared in Cape Girardeau County circuit court Tuesday where he was ordered to appear for a preliminary hearing May 22. Franklin Houchins, 32, is charged with second degree assault -- operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing injury. If convicted of the charge, Houchins faces a maximum prison term of seven years. According to the probable-cause statement, Houchins drove the wrong way down the northbound offramp of I-55 exit 96 where, while making a U-turn into oncoming traffic, he caused a driver of a tanker to swerve to avoid him. The back of the rig jumped in the air and flipped over. The driver was taken to a hospital with serious injuries. The charge alleges Houchins operated his vehicle with criminal negligence while under the influence of butalbital, a barbiturate. He is out on a $5,000 bond.

Cape woman arrested in drug bust has hearing

A Cape Girardeau woman arrested in a Cape Girardeau County drug bust in August appeared in court April 16 for a pretrial hearing in Jackson courthouse. Michelle Thiele, 28, of 133 Parkwood Estates, No. 8, has a trial date set for June 6. Out on a $15,000 bond, Thiele is charged with two felony counts of possession of a controlled substance. Each count carries a maximum prison term of seven years if convicted. Thiele was one of four arrested in a drug bust by the Cape Girardeau Sheriff's Department responding to a tip that a wanted person was at a large work shed near Copperhead Lane and Route U near Burdfordville. Police also found evidence of methamphetamine and ingredients for making the drug in the shed, according to police.

Man caught driving while revoked after court date

Two days after his court appearance in Cape Girardeau County associate circuit court on charges of driving while intoxicated and driving while revoked, a 54-year-old Jackson man was spotted driving while revoked by Associate Circuit Judge Gary Kamp. Kamp had presided over Jerry McFadden's hearing April 16. His case was continued to May 7 so he could get an attorney. According to the probable-cause statement, on April 18 McFadden backed a pickup truck out of an apartment building parking lot in Jackson right into the path of Kamp, who recognized him from his recent court appearance. Bond for the latest infraction was set at $10,000.

-- From staff reports

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