More Charges in Triple Fatal 02 Nov 12

Four more felony charges of criminal vehicular operation were filed Thursday against Paul Anthony Wickenhauser, the 21-year-old

Cokato man already facing multiple criminal counts for the triple fatal motor vehicle crash August 17th east of Willmar.

The West Central Tribune reports the additional charges were added to eight felony counts and one misdemeanor charge already filed against Wickenhauser in Kandiyohi County District Court.

Judge Donald M. Spilseth also granted a requested delay from Wickenhauser’s attorney, and the omnibus hearing will not happen as previously scheduled on November 19th. No new hearing date was set.

According to County Attorney Jenna Fischer, the new charges are for Wickenhauser driving while under the influence of alcohol, with a blood-alcohol content of 0.09. The legal limit is 0.08. The prior charges were for having a higher than 0.08 blood alcohol content within two hours of driving.

Wickenhauser was originally charged with four counts of criminal vehicular homicide and injury, plus the misdemeanor for open bottle, for causing the crash near where Highway 12 intersects with County Road 127.

68-year-old Marta Stoffers of Atwater, her daughter-in-law, 40-year-old Michelle Hoffman of Eden Prairie, and Hoffman’s 8-year-old daughter Julia were all killed in the crash. Hoffman’s 5-year-old son, Jason, was injured.

Four additional felony charges were added on August 23rd, after the county attorney’s office received the results of blood tests by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension showing that Wickenhauser was over the legal alcohol limit for driving, with the 0.09 blood alcohol content reading.

The head-on crash occurred around 9 p.m. August 17th along U.S. Highway 12 near Kandiyohi.