The drunk driver who killed a Neosho man and his eight-year-old granddaughter, has filed a motion to set aside his seven-year prison sentence.
Despite the fact that he was the one who voluntarily pleaded guilty, Edward Meerwald, 51, formerly of Noel, now residing at the Jefferson City Correctional Center, filed a petition June 6 to have the verdict set aside, according to court records.
His attempt to get out of his prison sentence will be funded by the taxpayers. Anne R. Wells, Neosho, has been appointed to serve as a public defender for Meerwald, according to court records.
Meerwald pleaded guilty March 11 in McDonald County Circuit Court to two counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the deaths of James Dodson, 68, Neosho, and his granddaughter Jessica Mann, 8, Joplin.
Meerwald was drunk on July 30, 2004, when his car left Highway 86 and hit Mr. Dodson and Miss Mann as they were standing in Dodson's driveway.
The deaths led to a successful attempt by Sen. Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, to pass a bill increasing sentences for drunk drivers convicted of involuntary manslaughter.