Accused drunk driver gets public defender
By Emma Breysse, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
June 11, 2012
A Wilson man charged in an alleged drunk driving accident last month will have to pay a monthly fee to be represented by a public defender.
Matthew Jonke, 33, faces one charge each of driving under the influence of alcohol and of reckless endangerment after he allegedly crashed a pickup into a tree on the way home from drinking at the Stagecoach Bar. He had a passenger at the time of the wreck, which led to the reckless endangerment charge.
At a status hearing June 7, 9th Circuit Court Judge James Radda approved Jonke’s application for a public defender to represent him, but after reviewing his financial situation, Radda required him to pay $50 a month as a condition of the approval.
At a May 25 hearing, Jonke was booked into Teton County Jail to ensure police had enough information to check his criminal background and was then released on his own recognizance after Radda determined he wasn’t a flight risk. At that hearing, Jonke said he wanted time to apply for a public defender before entering a plea.
Jonke was never arrested following the April 21 accident because he was unconscious when deputies arrived, according to Teton County Sheriff’s Office records. A blood test taken at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center showed a blood alcohol content of 0.15, Teton County Deputy Prosecutor Brian Hultman said.
The DUI charge was filed in May after law enforcement received the results of the test.