$250K Bail Set for Man Accused of Killing Woman in Car Crash
The suspect was drinking tequila before the crash that killed Jean Feagles, 47, of Waukesha, and injured her 16-year-old daughter Niekol Pucine, according to the criminal complaint.
A night out at a Milwaukee club drinking tequila and the fatal hit-and-run car crash that followed is leading to serious allegations against Edgar Montano, 28, of Waukesha, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday in Waukesha County Circuit Court.
Montano is accused of killing 48-year-old Jean Feagles while she was pushing her car that after it ran out of gas early Saturday. Her teenage daughter, Niekol Pucine, was injured in the crash. She had a sprained ankle and appeared in court on crutches, and became very emotional in court when she saw Montano.
Court Commissioner Laura Lau set Montano’s bail at $250,000 despite District Attorney Brad Schimel requesting $100,000 bail. Montano is charged with homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle, hit-and-run resulting in death and hit-and-run causing injury. He faces up to 35 years and nine months in prison if convicted of the charges.
“This represents a worst nightmare,” Lau said.
The nightmare began for Feagles family when Feagles was driving home from West Allis early Saturday morning, according to the criminal complaint. They had ran out of gas, and Feagles and Pucine were pushing the car on Highway 59 near East Broadway.
Pucine told authorities she heard a horn honking around 3:35 a.m. before she was struck. The vehicle drove away without anyone making contact with Pucine or Feagles to see if they were OK, the complaint states.
Feagles was pronounced dead at Waukesha Memorial Hospital. She had been pushing the vehicle near the front of the car while steering the vehicle from the driver’s side door.
Feagles is survived by her three daughters, including Pucine. The three women are grieving over their mother’s death, said Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel.
“It is really particularly hard for her, she is really going to struggle,” said Schimel about Pucine. “Her sisters are really in bad shape too.”
Montano was coming home from a night at a club in Milwaukee. The two women in the vehicle with him later told authorities he was drinking shots of tequila and consuming at least one tequila-based soda drink, according to the criminal complaint.
“We haven’t charged an OWI at this point,” said Schimel. “We are exploring whether there night be additional information that could support that. Right now we have some statements that make it clear that he was drinking. It is just with the gap of 14 hours before law enforcement came in contact with him, there was no longer anything in his system. It had all metabolized out. We don’t know whether we could make that case. It would be unusual to be able to do that under these circumstances. We are working on it, it is possible.”
The two women who were in the car with Montano contacted police after the accident. It was believed one of the women involved had a miscarriage in the accident, the complaint states. They were returning to the area Grand Avenue and Debbie Drive where the vehicle was abandoned, which is when they determined to speak with authorities, the complaint states.
Police had followed a fluid trail to the vehicle’s location and had a heavy presence at the scene when the women spoke with police, the complaint states.
When the women turned themselves in to police, Montano went to an acquaintance’s residence, according to the complaint. Officers located Montano in Racine, where he told them, “I was in an accident,” the complaint states. “I was driving and I hit the car and got scared and ran.”
Montano told police he spent $200 during the evening out and that he was returning home to “get sober,” the complaint states. He denied doing shots, but admitted to consuming three to four drinks, according to the complaint.
“I was a little bit drunk,” he told authorities, the criminal complaint states.
Schimel said in court that Montano has no criminal record, but that he does have two convictions for absolute sobriety violations in 2003 and 2004.
Schimel told reporters after the hearing that he would like to see the state law changed about the punishment for hit-and-run accidents.
“The penalties are substantial,” Schimel said. “Unfortunately the hit-and-run penalties are not as substantial as an OWI penalty would be. That is something we ought to think about changing in our law because the conduct of leaving a scene while you are under the influence is certainly worse than just driving under the influence all by itself.”