JeffCo Judge Arrested for DWI and Assault – Wegge to Not Recuse?

30 Nov

Last night, November 29, Nathan Stewart, the Jefferson County circuit judge for division 3, was involved in a one-car accident along Route BB south of Cedar Rock Road, according to the Highway Patrol. He went off the road and hit a power pole.

stewart-accident

Missouri Highway Patrol report on Stewart accident

These MO HP images are hard to see, best to click on the links in my text to view them on the HP website.

Stewart, who was defeated earlier this month in his bid for re-election as the Democratic candidate against a GOP wave, and thus only has about a month left in his term, was arrested on the scene for misdemeanor driving while intoxicated and felony 2nd degree assault, and taken to the Jefferson County Jail before being quickly released.

stewart-arrest

Missouri Highway Patrol arrest report on Stewart

Under state law, one of the definitions of 2nd degree assault is:

While in an intoxicated condition or under the influence of controlled substances or drugs, operates a motor vehicle in this state and, when so operating, acts with criminal negligence to cause physical injury to any other person than himself;

This applies in this case because Stewart had a passenger who received moderate injuries and was taken to the hospital. Interestingly, starting January 1st, the legal definition of 2nd degree assault no longer includes the above language. I’m not sure where this offense will fit at that time, but this case falls under the law as it stands now.

I am told by the Highway Patrol that the reports about this incident won’t be available for 10 business days. I will follow up once I acquire them.

Recusal

Of course, this case will not be able to be handled in Jefferson County, you would think. The prosecutor’s office and every judge would have to recuse themselves. I mean, JeffCo Prosecutor Forrest Wegge has to, right, even though he failed to recuse himself the first time around in the Dianne Critchlow case? But no, here’s what Wegge’s office told Fox 2:

We also asked whether or not a special prosecutor would be appointed to review last night’s accident, but we are told the final decision on possible charges will be made by the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. The decision could takes weeks, or months.

REALLY?!? Wegge’s going to take this case, even though his office has tried many cases in front of Stewart, and they are both members of the JeffCo Democratic party? Maybe he should glance at the ethics manual. Even if he does decide to prosecute (unlikely – he probably wants to just wait until we all forget about it, then drop the case), what judge will hear it? It will have to go to another county.

In the meantime, will Stewart try to serve out his term, or just step aside? The Fox 2 article goes into this a bit. It says Stewart has several DWI cases on his docket next week. One lawyer assumes the cases will be continued (delayed).

I am interested to see which lawyer defends Stewart if this goes to trial. He had a lot of the Hillsboro legal establishment backing him during the campaign – who will he turn to in his hour of need?

stewart-mug

Nathan Stewart booking photo, from the Mobile Patrol app

DWI Issues and JeffCo Laywers

There have been a few alcohol incidents involving members of the local criminal justice system in recent history. Here are examples:

  • Assistant county prosecutor Catherine Crowley was out of a job a day after seeming to be drunk in court (in Stewart’s courtroom, no less) in May 2015.
  • Prominent Festus lawyer, and former county prosecutor and municipal judge, Michael Lowry was involved in an apparent drunk driving accident in 2004, but was allowed to go home, and no charges were filed.
  • JeffCo prosecutor Forrest Wegge was arrested for drunk driving in 2003 (before he became prosecutor).

Am I missing anyone?

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7 Responses to “JeffCo Judge Arrested for DWI and Assault – Wegge to Not Recuse?”

  1. tricia hensley December 1, 2016 at 8:00 am #

    Hey if you are without sin cast the first stone…not sure if you all know law enforcement usually drink…..they have to to put up with all the idiots we have walking the earth…..most of you all vited for a pedophile and stripper for the president and first lady…..please….American society is too funny!!! Who gives a crap its his life! I got more important issues like who is gonna pay my house payment and put food on my table after all you idiots voted for Republicans….oh wait a min the Democrates won but the Republicans lied and stole the slot anyway……who cares…..not sure if you dont know this God decides not all you do gooders!!

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  2. Anonymous December 1, 2016 at 3:48 pm #

    Nathan Stewart is the worst Judge ever allowed to wear the robes. No wonder he’s a drunk. Self medicating himself of admitting guilt for all the lives he’s destroyed no doubt.

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  3. Anonymous December 1, 2016 at 6:31 pm #

    Who cares about this bitch….

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  4. Sherry Hammer December 3, 2016 at 10:25 pm #

    Too funny, he will make a total mockery of the judicial system if he gets up and puts his robe on. Like he has any right to sentence anyone. Jefferson county is a joke of a legal system. There is no justice what is sad is the prosecutors are worse than some of the judges. I should add not all the prosecutors.

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  5. Anonymous January 18, 2017 at 8:01 pm #

    I think its bull if he gets away with this he’s put innocent people in prison for less than this and some have done many years on just driving without a license not even hurting anyone. But because he was a judge like the others he will walk free not fair where is justice. Its not supposed to be personal but it always is and God will prevail on judgement day. My my what a burden all will carry cause that’s the day that justice will be served for sure praise the Lord. Cause we have a innocent man that stewert personally took from us all because he wanted to be a dick.

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