Monday, September 26, 2011

Trooper Andrew Rhew resigns following Missouri DWI

Posted By on Mon, Sep 26, 2011 at 2:06 PM

RESIGNED: Andrew Rhew
  • RESIGNED: Andrew Rhew
Remember Andrew Rhew, the state trooper who was reinstated after being fired for failure to run emergency lights and sirens before a high-speed crash killed an Arkansas motorist?

The State Police reports that he resigned this morning. He turned in his car and other equipment, but gave no specific reason for the resignation. The agency learned later of a possible reason for the resignation.

The Missouri Highway Patrol reports that Andrew Rhew was arrested at 12:23 a.m. Sunday for "driving while intoxicated and failed to drive on right half of roadway resulting in an accident." A Highway Patrol employee in that district said there were no injuries reported in the accident, but the trooper who had the accident report was not immediately available to provide more details. Rhew apparently lives in the Missouri bootheel.

Will Feland, as a special prosecutor, worked out a plea bargain with Rhew in the fatal crash. He pleaded guilty to a Class A misdemeanor, but the sentence was suspended and the conviction would have been expunged if he had no trouble for a year. Feland said he presumed his role with the case was completed. Prosecutor Scott Ellington of Jonesboro was in court when I called. He left a message that his office was aware of the situation and would be reviewing it.

In pleading for reinstatment after he was fired by Col. JR Howard, Rhew made the case that he hadn't been going as fast as 103 mph, as the recorder in his car indicated. His attorney also said the woman who was killed, Vickie Freemyer, a Blytheville teacher, had caused the crash in Manila by pulling out into the highway from a restaurant. Freemyer's family wasn't happy about the plea bargain and is believed to be prepared to file a claim against the state over the death.

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