Drunk driver pleads guilty

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A New York man pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of negligent homicide in the deaths of an Oklahoma couple in a traffic accident last June on Highway 62 west of Eureka Springs.

David Charles Raupers, 64, of Van Etten. N.Y., also pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated assault as well as single counts of driving while intoxicated and driving left of center. He entered the pleas before Carroll County Circuit Judge Scott Jackson.

Raupers is scheduled to be sentenced at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, at the Carroll County Western District Courthouse in Eureka Springs. Each count of negligent homicide is punishable by five to 20 years in prison. Carroll County Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Devon Still said Monday that Raupers faces a maximum 64-year sentence, if he receives the maximum sentence on each charge and if Jackson orders that the sentences be served consecutively.

Raupers was arrested after a fatal accident that claimed the lives of David Magee, 44, and his wife, Marquita Magee, 45, of Barnsdall, Okla., on June 18, 2016.

An Arkansas State Police report said the Magees were eastbound on a 2014 Harley-Davidson motorcycle near the entrance to Thorncrown Chapel when they were struck by a westbound 2006 Ford F-150 pickup driven by Raupers that crossed the center line.

A probable cause affidavit from Arkansas State Police Trooper Aaron Middleton said that when he responded to the accident scene, he found Raupers standing beside his truck, urinating on the ground.

Middleton wrote that he attempted to conduct a field sobriety test but that Raupers was too intoxicated to continue.

“Raupers had reached a level of intoxication that he could not even raise his leg from the ground,” Middleton wrote in the affidavit.

Middleton arrested Raupers and he was transported to the Carroll County Detention Center in Berryville. According to Middleton’s affidavit, a breath test administered at the jail indicated that Raupers had a blood alcohol content of 0.20 percent. In Arkansas, a driver can be charged with driving while intoxicated if their blood alcohol content is 0.08 percent or higher.

Raupers has been held at the county jail since his arrest.

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