Accused Jasper hit-and-run driver arrested

From Local Sources


JASPER — A suspect in a hit-and-run accident earlier this month appeared in court this week after being taken into custody on an arrest warrant.

The Jasper Police Department had asked for the public’s help in identifying the driver who left the scene after the 12:21 a.m. accident Friday, March 1, in which a victim’s pickup truck was hit hard enough that it was pushed onto the sidewalk and into his yard.

The suspect’s truck was described at that time as a large, dark-colored truck with clearance lights and loud exhaust.

A tip led police to a damaged 2003 Ford F-250 with a Colorado license plate owned by Linul G. Wagner, 25, 1415 Newton St., Jasper, according to court documents. After multiple unsuccessful attempts to contact Wagner, the truck was towed and secured by police, according to court documents.

During the investigation, police also spoke with a man who said he had been with Wagner at the time of the accident. The passenger said he had noticed Wagner’s driving behavior was poor and he had offered to drive but Wagner began driving at a high rate of speed.

The passenger said he had told Wagner to let him out of the truck twice and stated he felt his life was in danger in the moments before Wagner’s truck hit the parked truck, according to court documents. The passenger said Wagner continued on after the collision. The passenger also reported continuing to yell at Wagner to let him out before he was finally able to exit the truck.

Police interviewed Wagner about the incident March 5 at the Jasper Police Station. He reportedly admitted to the hit-and-run, stated he did not stop because he was scared and stated he probably should have walked home because of drinking too much alcohol that evening, according to court documents.

The investigation resulted in a warrant being issued March 13 in Dubois Circuit Court charging Wagner with a Level 5 felony count of criminal confinement, a Level 6 felony count of criminal recklessness and a misdemeanor count of leaving the scene of an accident.

Wagner was booked into the Dubois County Security Center on the active warrant Friday. He posted a $2,500 bond that day, then appeared in court Monday.

The court entered a preliminary plea of not guilty on Wagner’s behalf, approved his request for pauper counsel and set his next court appearance for April 29.

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