A sentencing hearing for Patrick Walsh, a Florissant man who pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and assault charges, was postponed Wednesday after family members and friends packed the courtroom for the hearing.
Patrick D. Walsh, 21, of the 1800 block of Violet Drive in Florissant, pleaded guilty Nov. 15 to two counts of involuntary manslaughter and five counts of second-degree assault.
The Missouri Highway Patrol reported Walsh was driving under the influence of alcohol and was going about 100 mph when he struck the rear of a Chevy Tahoe carrying six people. Walsh was 20 years old at the time.
The Tahoe flipped several times, and Steve Brueggen, 38, and Michael R. McLemore, 37, were killed in the collision. Brueggen was a physical education teacher at Parkwood Elementary and lived in Florissant. McLemore was from O’Fallon.
Four other people—all from St. Charles—escaped the crash non-life-threatening injuries.
Court officials told family members that a sentencing assessment report either had not been requested or had not been completed for the sentencing hearing.
Sentencing was postponed until April 3.
Family members who attended the hearing said they were upset by the postponement.
“Obviously, someone dropped the ball,” said Shannon Bensing, Brueggen’s sister. “It’s a disappointment. This gives him (Walsh) more time that he doesn’t have to go to prison.”
Family members had the option to make statements before the Circuit Court Judge Michael T. Jamison Wednesday, but opted to make the statements April 3.
For more crime information on Maryland Heights Patch, see the following articles:
- Parkwood Elementary Teacher Killed in Car Crash
- Paul Tripp Sentenced to Two Years in Valerie Butler Case
- Manslaughter Charges Filed Against Driver in April DWI Crash