Thursday, May 09, 2019
Meerwald pleads not guilty to latest DWI allegation, bond in earlier drunk driving allegation increased to $500,000 cash only
The DWI charge is the second in the past year for Meerwald, who is being held in the Newton County Jail without bond.
Meerwald was the driver behind the wheel on July 30, 2004 on MO 86 when he ran off the road and killed Jessica Mann, 8, Joplin, and her grandfather, Jim Dodson, 69, Neosho. Meerwald, who was driving impaired, pleaded guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter and served time in prison.
The latest incident occurred Friday when an off-duty Joplin Police Department officer spotted Meerwald appearing to be intoxicated at Hideout Harley Davidson, and called dispatch, which sent an officer to stop Meerwald when he left the business. A preliminary breath test indicated he had been drinking.
Meerwald was already awaiting trial on a McDonald County DWI charge resulting from a June 17 Highway Patrol stop.
The latest hearing in that case was held this morning in McDonald County Circuit Court where Judge Kevin Selby issued a warrant for Meerwald for violating the terms of his bond and set his new bond at $500,000 cash only.
The next hearing in the McDonald County case, in which Meerwald is also charged with speeding, is scheduled for 9 a.m. June 13.
A pre-trial conference is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday in the Newton County case with Judge Anna Christine Rhoades presiding.