Retrial of accused drunken driver in fatal I-65 crash begins
Post-Tribune staff report August 29, 2012 5:04PM
Jeffrey Cleary | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 1, 2012 5:30PM
The retrial of a Valparaiso man charged with causing death while operating while intoxicated in a 2010 crash on Interstate 65 in Hobart began Wednesday with jury selection.
A total of 12 jurors and three alternates were selected to hear evidence in the case involving Jeffery Allen Cleary, 66, who has pleaded not guilty to charges that are punishable by a maximum 20-year sentence. Lake Superior Court Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr. is presiding.
Cleary is charged in the death of Philip Amsden, 63, of Hebron, who was crushed between his service truck and a tractor-trailer that had a flat he was fixing. The crash occurred at about 11:43 p.m. Nov. 4, 2010, in the shoulder of the southbound lanes of Interstate 65 near the Ridge Road exit.
In December, a jury convicted Cleary of misdemeanor operating while intoxicated charges in the case, but was unable to reach a verdict on the higher level felony charges that allege Cleary’s blood alcohol level was more than 0.15 percent. Indiana law sets a 0.08 percent limit for intoxication.
Deputy prosecutors Michael Toth and Monica Rogina are presenting evidence in the case. Defense attorneys Tom Mullins, Marce Gonzalez and Kevin Milner represent Cleary.