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Man accused of driving intoxicated, killing passenger faces new charge

Posted at 7:08 AM, Mar 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-29 07:08:13-04

GREENFIELD, Ind. -- A man accused of driving while intoxicated and killing a person now faces two felony counts. 

With three prior convictions, Hancock County prosecutors will seek a habitual offender count against Jason Phelps, 42. 

Police say he crashed into a house on March 4, killing his passenger, 47-year-old Dalen Charron. According to court documents, Phelps initially tried to say he was not driving, but a medic who was one of the first on the scene says otherwise.

"The passenger was seat belted in the passenger side of the vehicle," said Brent Eaton, a Hancock County prosecutor. "Mr. Phelps had to be driving."

Phelps was convicted in 2001 for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated with a prior. In 2007, he was convicted of operating while intoxicated causing death.

A warrant has been issued for Phelps, but he has not been found. If convicted, the habitual offender charge could add 20 years to Phelps' sentence.

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