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Munster man accused of causing death while drunken driving going back to jail

Updated: December 4, 2012 6:13AM



Lake Superior Court Judge Clarence Murray revoked the bond for a Munster man charged with causing death while operating while intoxicated.

Murray found that deputy prosecutor Sabrina Haney had met her burden of proof that Michael Temores had driven a vehicle, despite the judge’s ruling that he had to give up driving privileges to remain free on $10,000 cash bond in the case.

Temores, 25, is charged in the death of Fred Skafgaard, 61, of Lansing, Ill., whose pickup truck was struck by Temores’ speeding SUV at about 2:30 a.m. Dec. 30, 2011, at Hohman Avenue and Ridge Road in Munster. Temores has pleaded not guilty.

From the witness stand, Temores denied driving a blue Hummer early on Sept. 16.

Munster police Patrolman Thomas Uszakow testified he was working stationary radar in a darkened corner of the parking lot of St. Thomas More, which is near Temores’ home in the 8600 block of Calumet Avenue, when he spotted Temores as he emerged from the Hummer, assisted a female from the passenger side and went inside the house. Uszakow said the area is well illuminated with a street light and a porch light at Temores’ residence.

Uszakow said he slowly drove his police SUV in the parking lot, at about 5 mph, as he headed for the parking lot exit onto Calumet Avenue, then responded to a bank alarm and left the area.

Uszakow was the first officer on the fatal crash and said he has had prior contact with the family and can identify both Michael Temores and his father.

Temores’ father, John Temores, and his father’s girlfriend, Angie Camacho, testified the Hummer is his vehicle and he has never allowed Michael to drive it. The couple said they went out for dinner at a Schererville restaurant and listened to a band play until about midnight, then drove to Temores’ house.

Defense attorney Steve Mullins elicited through questioning that Michael Temores’ girlfriend was eight months pregnant at the time and that they were most likely home that evening.

Haney argued that Temores being a new father was calculated to “pull at the heartstrings,” and that Temores’ witnesses had a vested interest in him remaining free on bond.

“I’m not going to parade three people in here to commit perjury,” Mullins shot back. Mullins challenged Uszakow’s identification of his client in part because it would be obvious if the female passenger had been pregnant.

The judge said he heard conflicting testimony but questioned why a police officer would want to risk his reputation and career by lying under oath. If a jury was hearing the case, Murray said he would instruct jurors to consider the relationship between the witnesses as a way to measure their credibility.

Murray said Temores will be held without bail until his trial. The next hearing in the case is Dec. 5.

Temores faces six to 20 years on the most serious of the charges, which alleges he had a blood alcohol level of at least 0.15 percent.



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