By Shereen Siewert
High speed and erratic driving led to a four-year prison term for a 49-year-old man who was sentenced last week Wausau on charges of 8th offense drunken driving.
Charles Richey, of Marathon, was sentenced June 30 in Marathon County Circuit Court, settling seven separate criminal cases including the OWI, which happened in April 2018.
Court records show Richey was previously convicted of drunken driving in 1992, 1995, 1996, 1998 and three times in 2002, court records show.
In the most recent case, Richey was arrested by Everest Metro police after an alert for a Harley Davidson being driven at a high rate of speed. Richey was pulled over in the parking lot of a Weston tavern.
According to the incident report, when the arresting officer approached Richey, the officer noted a distinct odor of alcohol. But when the officer told Richey he could smell alcohol, Richey allegedly became belligerent, saying, “You’re full of shit. We’re at a freaking bar. What do you expect?”
Richey became increasingly argumentative, police said, and refused to undergo field sobriety tests or submit to a preliminary breath test. Officers were forced to call for backup, then obtained a warrant to have a chemical test of Richey’s blood at a local hospital, court documents state.
Richey was freed on a $5,000 cash bond several days after his arrest. But from 2018-2019, Richey was arrested six more times on charges ranging from battery to domestic abuse-related disorderly conduct.
At the June 30 hearing, Richey was also sentenced to three years in prison on bail jumping and disorderly conduct charges in a 2018 case and three years in prison in a 2019 case, also for bail jumping and disorderly conduct. Circuit Judge Greg Strasser ordered the sentences to be served concurrently, or at the same time.
Charges in four additional cases were dismissed but read into the record at sentencing.
Following his release from prison Richey will spend five years on extended supervision and will pay a fine of $3,976.