Wreck leads to recovery of stolen vehicle

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Alleged drunk driver facing pair of felonies following crash

A Seligman man is being charged with two felonies after allegedly wrecking a stolen vehicle on Highway 90, east of Highway UU in Barry County.

Nathan Klinefelter, 29, of Seligman, is charged with first-degree tampering with a motor vehicle and first-degree property damage.

According to a probable cause report filed by Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper T. Coffey, the wreck occurred on Friday on County Road at 8th Street in Washburn.

Coffey responded to the scene, from which the victims had fled, and was directed to a home where three people, including Klinefelter, involved in the crash were located.

The owner of the vehicle, a man from Arkansas, contacted Coffey and claimed the vehicle was stolen, an a report was being filed in Benton County, Ark.

The man said an employee was in possession of the vehicle, and he believed Klinefelter had stolen it from the employee, as they are related. He also said he had previously told Klinefelter not to drive any of his vehicles.

Coffey said the first person he interviewed stated she was seated in the back of the car and would not say who all was in the vehicle.

He then spoke to Klinefelter, and noticed his eyed were bloodshot and pupils dilated, and there was a strong odor of intoxicants coming from his person. Klinefelter said the first person Coffey interviewed was driving the vehicle, going too fast around a corner and losing control.

The third occupant of the vehicle claimed to be in the front passenger seat, which is where Klinefelter said he was seated. Coffey said he noticed an obvious seat belt mark from the person's right shoulder to left torso, and the person maintained she was in the front passenger seat and Klinefelter was driving.

Coffey said he then asked Klinefelter to explain the discrepancy between the two stories and who was in the front passenger seat.

"Klinefelter admitted to being the driver and stated he was on probation and did not want to go back to prison for driving, so he lied about who was driving," Coffey said in the statement.

A breathalyzer test, administered more than three hours after the crash, showed Klinefelter was still over the legal limit.

Along with the two felonies, Coffey also arrested Klinefelter for driving while intoxicated, careless and imprudent driving involving an accident, driving while revoked and leaving the scene of an accident.

Klinefelter is being held in the Barry County jail for the two felonies on a cash-only bond of $15,000. A court date has yet to be set.

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