April 28, 2017
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Woman faces charges of killing boyfriend by hitting him with Jeep


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BY DENEEN SMITH
dsmith@kenoshanews.com


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A Twin Lakes woman was charged Wednesday with homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle for the April 11 death of her boyfriend, who she allegedly struck with a Jeep.

Anna Wright, 29, allegedly struck and killed her boyfriend, Brian Engelhart, as he walked in the 34000 block of 110th Street in Twin Lakes just after 1 a.m. Wright had allegedly gone looking for Engelhart after the two had a fight at her home.

According to the criminal complaint, Wright appeared to be intoxicated and told a deputy she had used cocaine that evening. Her defense attorney said in court Wednesday that Wright had also told investigators that she had used heroin.

Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger said Engelhart was thrown about 40 feet by the collision, landing about 13 feet off the roadway.

Rather than pointing forward in the traffic lane, Binger said, Wright’s Jeep “was pointed in the direction of the decedent.” The criminal complaint indicates Engelhart had massive injuries, including broken legs, a broken pelvis, broken ribs, “a deformity to his lower back” and “a large amount of internal bleeding.”

According to the criminal complaint, Wright gave deputies conflicting stories, at first claiming that someone else must have struck Engelhart, then saying she swerved to miss him and that, if she did hit him, it was “a side swipe.”

The complaint also indicates that there was a delay of about 10 minutes between when Wright called her roommate to say she had found Engelhart injured on the side of the road and when she called 911.

The doctor who pronounced Engelhart dead at Aurora Medical Center in Burlington asked investigators how long the victim had been lying on the ground before deputies arrived because “there was a large amount of internal bleeding and his body was cold,” according to the complaint.

Binger said, “I don’t know if the defendant intended to hit the decedent,” and said an investigation is ongoing, including work by an accident reconstruction investigator. “There may be additional charges” based on the results of that investigation, he said.

Defense attorney Hilary Edwards described Wright as “an incredibly intelligent woman” who has a master’s degree in business and who worked in the past for pharmaceutical companies as a quality engineer.

She said Wright has no previous criminal convictions, and argued that she was a good candidate for diversion programs that focus on drug treatment rather than incarceration.

Edwards said Wright cooperated with the investigation. She said she had attempted to revive Engelhart, that she had called 911 and remained on the scene until deputies arrived.

Court Commissioner David Berman set bond at $25,000, which had been set as a temporary bond after her arrest last week.

Along with the homicide by intoxicated use of vehicle charge, Wright was charged with driving without a valid license, OWI-first offense and possession of drug paraphernalia.

She is expected to return to court April 27 for a preliminary hearing.


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