Trial averted by promise of plea in vehicular homicide case

Man is accused of hitting woman mowing her grass in rural Saukville
By 
Bill SCHAEN IV
Ozaukee Press staff

A man whose trial for homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle had been scheduled to begin Monday will instead  plead to the felony charge in connection with the death of an 83-year-old Town of Saukville woman who was mowing her grass when she was hit by his pickup truck in 2020, his lawyer told an Ozaukee County judge last week.

Matthew R. Anderson of West Bend is scheduled to appear before Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Paul Malloy for a plea and sentencing hearing on June 17.

  Anderson told authorities he was driving home after golfing in Kewaskum on Saturday, May 16, 2020, when he veered off Highway Y and hit Marlene Braun before his truck slammed into and snapped a utility pole, according to the criminal complaint.

Anderson told authorities he drank three beers while golfing, and a sheriff’s deputy noticed the odor of alcohol on his breath. After refusing to take a breath test while under medical care at the scene, Anderson consented to a blood test taken an hour-and-a-half after the accident that showed he had a blood-alcohol level of .09, the criminal complaint states. A level of .08 is considered evidence of intoxication in Wisconsin.

He was cited for first-offense drunken driving shortly after the accident.

Anderson was driving his Ford F-150 south on Highway Y near Cedar Sauk Road at 3:35 p.m. when he crossed into the northbound lane, then into the Braun’s yard.

There were no tire marks on the road indicating a sudden correction in the direction of the vehicle, leading a deputy to conclude that the truck gradually strayed from the southbound lane, crossed the northbound lane and sped into the yard before hitting the utility pole, according to the complaint.

The middle section of the pole was on the ground while the top section was suspended by wires, which led investigators to believe Anderson’s truck was traveling at a high rate of speed when he hit it.

A deputy found Braun’s body near the pole.

While being treated at the scene, Anderson complained about the effects of a chronic physical condition he suffers from.

Anderson has been free from jail in lieu of $5,000 bail while awaiting trial.

Homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle is punishable by a maximum 15 years in prison and 10 years of extended supervision. A conviction requires a five-year revocation of driving privileges.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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