Sheldon man pleads not guilty in fatal OWI crash - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Sheldon man pleads not guilty in fatal OWI crash

MEDFORD (WAOW) - A man pleaded not guilty Monday to charges accusing him of drunken driving and plowing into a group of deer hunters last fall, killing one.

James Winchel, 42, of Sheldon was charged with six felonies, including homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and fifth-offense operating while intoxicated, in the Nov. 29 crash that killed Juan Salinas, 50, of Roscoe, Ill., and injured another man on a rural road in western Taylor County.

A three-day jury trial is scheduled to start Sept. 30, according to online Taylor County court records.

Salinas and his hunting group were walking along the road after coming out of some woods when he and another man were struck by a car Winchel was driving at least 50 mph, the criminal complaint said.

Investigators report the gun Salinas was carrying smashed through the windshield of the car, striking Winchel, the complaint said.

Winchel's blood-alcohol level at the time was 0.196 percent, the complaint said. The legal limit is 0.08 percent.

Winchel told investigators he had five or six beers in the two hours before the crash and he was probably intoxicated, the complaint said.

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