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The original item was published from 12/15/2018 6:15:00 AM to 12/15/2018 6:15:55 AM.

News Flash

District Attorney

Posted on: December 15, 2018


Bayfield County courthouse




For Immediate Release

December 14, 2018

After a 4 -day jury trial,  Andrew Peterson was convicted of Homicide by Intoxicated Use of a Vehicle, a Class C felony punishable by a fine not to exceed $100,000 or imprisonment not to exceed 40 years, or both. Peterson’s bond was revoked and he is in the Bayfield County Jail awaiting sentencing.  Sentencing is set for February 19,  2019, before the Honorable John Anderson.

The conviction stemmed from a crash that occurred on June 10, 2017 in Cornucopia.  Peterson's blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit - .194 g/mL - when he made a left hand turn in front of David Apka, killing him.   Apka was driving his motorcycle at the time of the crash.  The crash reconstruction performed by Trooper Derrek Hanson of the Wisconsin State Patrol, revealed that Apka was traveling under the posted 45 mph speed limit at the time of the crash.  David Apka, an avid motorcyclist and retired truck driver, was a long time resident of Cornucopia at the time of his death.

The investigation was a collaborative effort between numerous state and local law enforcement agencies, with special recognition owed to Deputy Christopher Benton of the Bayfield County Sheriff’s Office and Trooper Derrek Hanson of the Wisconsin State Patrol's Technical Reconstruction Unit.

The prosecution was headed by Bayfield County District Attorney Kimberly Lawton, and Assistant Attorney General Tara Jenswold.

“I’m incredibly proud and grateful for the hard work and expertise of law enforcement and my co-counsel Tara Jenswold.” Lawton stated. “This is not a victory lap;  nothing can change the grief and loss suffered by David Apka's family. This case highlights the importance of OWI enforcement at all levels and my office is committed to vigorously prosecuting OWI offenses”.

In 2017, there were three fatal crashes that occurred in Bayfield County and resulted in criminal charges. With this verdict, all three defendants have been convicted of vehicular homicide charges.

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