Hart trial date delayed


The trial date has been delayed for a Boonville woman charged in the driving death of a Boonville man.

Debbie Hart, 61, of Boonville, was arrested in late November last year after a wreck outside of Boonville resulted in the death of motorcyclist Timothy Hemmings of Boonville. While Hart was expected to face a jury trial later this month, the Aug. 27 trial was delayed at the request of Hart's attorney.

Hart was traveling in a truck west on State Road 62 in Boonville when she attempted to turn from the turn lane onto Baker Road into the path of Hemmings who was travelling east on State Road 62. Hart was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death, operating a vehicle with a BAC of .15 percent or more,

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operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person and operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

In a pretrial conference on Monday, Hart's attorney, Anthony Long, told Warrick County Superior I Court Judge Zach Winsett that his office needed more time for their own investigation to take place before the trial. In addition, Warrick County Deputy Prosecutor Levi Burkett said a witness has a conflict with the August trial date.

After seeing no objection, Winsett agreed to reset the trial and assigned the trial to take place on Tuesday, Oct. 29, at 8:30 a.m.

During a hearing on special driving privileges, Long told Winsett that the defense's argument isn't that Hart wasn't responsible, but that she was solely responsible for the wreck that took Hemmings life.

During the hearing earlier this year, he showed the court an autopsy report that suggests Hemmings may have also been driving under the influence of illegal substances.

"Her fault is not as clear as one might have," he said.

However, Winsett ultimately decided against granting special driving privileges for Hart noting her previous nature and the severity of the incident. He said the decision boils down to safety.

"I believe it's a safety issue," he said. "The safety of the community and the community of the defendant herself."

Hart will appear again in a final pretrial conference on Monday, Oct. 7 at 9 a.m.

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