B'ville man sentenced to seven years in prison

Wanda English Burnett, Editor

Eric McClure, 39, of Batesville, was sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in an automobile accident that claimed the life of June Voegele of Madison.

In Ripley County Circuit Court, McClure pled guilty to Leaving the Scene of An Accident Resulting in Death, a Class C Felony. This plea was entered on May 21, and accepted and filed on July 11.

McClure will also have to pay $9,460.00 as restitution for lost wages to Warren Voegele of Batesville, who was also in the accident and suffered serious injuries.

According to Prosecutor Ric Hertel, he was pleased with the plea agreement saying a Class C felony carries a 2-8 year prison sentence, the defendant was given seven years. “McClure plead guilty to the most serious charge, a Class C Felony and sentenced to 7 years, no time suspended,” the prosecutor told the Osgood Journal. He further commented that the charges that were dismissed would not have been consecutive, because they were part of a single episode of criminal conduct. “Therefore, had we even had a trial and he (McClure) would be convicted of all charges, the sentence would have run concurrent.”

The prosecutor noted that there’s always the chance of an acquittal with a jury trial and “there would have been no guarantee that the judge would have given him (McClure) that additional year."

According to Ripley Publishing Co. files, McClure fled the scene the night of the accident, January 20, 2007, and was taken into custody eight days later by the Indiana State Police in Jefferson County. He was at the President’s Motel on Windridge Drive in Madison.

Besides the Voegeles, there was another passenger, 18-year-old Marie Clark of Madison, who sustained injuries in the one-vehicle crash on Michigan Road. The original report noted that the driver lost control, left the roadway and struck an embankment causing the vehicle to roll over. It was reported that alcohol was believed to be a factor in the crash. The crash took place about 4:24 a.m.

On January 25 Ripley County Prosecutor Ric Hertel filed criminal charges against McClure that included Leaving the Scene of An Accident Causing Death and Operating a Motor Vehicle as a Habitual Traffic Violator. The defendant was on probation at the time of the accident for Operating a Vehicle as a Habitual Traffic Violator, after losing his license for life. After serving his sentence on that violation, McClure was back behind the wheel only three months later with the result ending in the tragic loss of life.