Criminal Charges Against 2nd Jon Boat Operator Dropped

CHARGES OF “INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER,” AND “OPERATING A MOTORBOAT WHILE INTOXICATED, CAUSING DEATH,” AGAINST DOUG METCALF OF BURLINGTON HAVE BEEN DISMISSED BY THE COUNTY ATTORNEY’S OFFICE.

METCALF AND JOE SCHIER JR. WERE THE TWO JON-BOAT DRIVERS BLAMED FOR KILLING FOUR OF THEIR FRIENDS IN MAY OF LAST YEAR, WHEN THEIR WATERCRAFT COLLIDED ON THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER NEAR O’CONNELL ISLAND. BUT ASSISTANT COUNTY ATTORNEY TY ROGERS…WHO WAS HANDLING THE PROSECUTION…SAYS PROVING THE CRIMINAL COUNTS BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT BECAME IMPOSSIBLE.  SIMILAR CHARGES AGAINST SCHIER WERE DROPPED SEVERAL MONTHS AGO, FOR BASICALLY THE SAME REASONS.

 

THE EARLY MORNING COLLISION TOOK THE LIVES OF MATTHEW HOUSE…BLAKE EAKINS…JACOB BOYD…AND CAITLYN ATCHLEY. EIGHT OTHERS WERE INJURED.

 

IN RESPONSE TO THE DISMISSAL OF THE CHARGES, METCALF’S ATTORNEY…ROBERT REHKEMPER…SAYS HIS CLIENT HAD BEEN WRONGFULLY ACCUSED OF CRIMINALLY CAUSING HIS FRIENDS’ DEATHS. A NEWS RELEASE GOES ON TO SAY “IT’S UNFORTUNATE THAT THE QUESTIONS ASKED AND ANSWERED BY THE DEFENSE WERE NOT ASKED BY THE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND AGENCIES RESPONSIBLE FOR INVESTIGATING THE ACCIDENT.” “THANKFULLY,” IN REHKEMPER’S WORDS, “THE ASSISTANT DES MOINES COUNTY ATTORNEYS ASSIGNED TO THE CASE WERE COURAGEOUS ENOUGH TO RE-EVALUATE THEIR POSITION AFTER ALL OF THE FACTS WERE UNCOVERED…AND SHOULD BE COMMENDED FOR DOING SO.” “TOO OFTEN,” THE RELEASE GOES ON TO SAY, “SERIOUS CHARGES SUCH AS THESE ARE FILED BEFORE THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED, SIMPLY TO RELIEVE POLITICAL PRESSURE.”

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