'Guilty But Insane' Plea In Drunk Driving Crash

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Tue, July 16 2013 at 4:31 PM, Updated: Tue, July 16 2013 at 4:42 PM

A Klamath Falls man charged with a drunk driving crash that critically injured two men enters a plea of 'guilty, but insane'...

Robert Glenn says he doesn't remember just how we was first injured early on the morning of December 19th, 2011...but he knows he somehow wound up drunk, and on the side of the highway.

Jeff Quigley of California had stopped on Highway 97 south of Klamath Falls to help Glenn, when Chet Newell - the man Glenn was drinking with - rammed into the back of Quigley's pickup.

"I was laying on the side of the road.  He came and hit, struck the guy that was helping me."  Recalled Robert Glenn.  "And I was injured even worse when the truck came over the top of me."

Glenn admits to drinking with Newell earlier that night...and had been hoping to get hired by Newell's employer.

"That obviously didn't happen."  Notes Glenn.  "I ended up in the hospital for six days, almost died."

Chet Newell pled 'guilty, but insane' to drunk driving and two counts of second-degree assault...in a crime that left Glenn with skull fractures and a broken back.

Doctors say Newell is developmentally disabled.  And rather than do prison time, Newell will spend 10 years in a foster home...a sentence Glenn isn't happy with.

"Yeah, I think that's a slap on the wrist.  I don't think that's very serious."

Police say Newell's blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit following the crash.

While Glenn was awarded 50 thousand dollars in damages from Newell's insurance company in a civil suit, Glenn says that won't cover his 200 thousand dollars in medical bills.



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About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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