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DWI talk enough for conviction

A Stafford County man was convicted Thursday of driving while intoxicated, even though no one in law enforcement saw him driving.

Jonathan Charles Haybarger, 39, was found guilty in Stafford General District Court solely on his own words.

Deputies were investigating an unrelated matter at Haybarger’s home on Eustace Road May 15 when an intoxicated Haybarger repeatedly mentioned that he had driven himself home about 90 minutes earlier.

According to the evidence presented by prosecutor Amy Casey, deputies R.T. Kulbeth and Dustin Walker went to the North Stafford residence that night in response to a 911 call.

Someone had called 911 and left the line open without saying anything.

The deputies determined that Haybarger and Lisa Thompson, his roommate, had gotten into a heated verbal dispute.

Kulbeth had a taped recording that included Haybarger talking about drinking at various establishments and driving himself home. He had a blood-alcohol content of at least .15, court records show.

Defense attorney Andrew Flusche argued that Haybarger’s drunken statements were simply not enough evidence for a conviction. He also put on two witnesses, Thompson and her son, Justin Houghtaling, who said it was Houghtaling who was driving that night.

But Casey argued that Thompson and Houghtaling were lying to protect Haybarger, who according to testimony contributes $1,300 a month to the household.

Judge Bruce Strickland apparently agreed, saying the defense witnesses’ stories didn’t make sense.

Haybarger’s sentence includes five days in jail and a $300 fine. Strickland agreed to let Haybarger wait until the day after Thanksgiving to begin serving his sentence.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404

kepps@freelancestar.com

 

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