Vehicle Homocide

By: KCTN News
Aug 1st, 2018

     ELKADER, Iowa (AP) - A northeast Iowa man has been given 25 years in prison for a crash that killed two teenage boys.
     Clayton County Court records say 21-year-old Kory Doeppke, was sentenced Tuesday in Elkader. He'd pleaded guilty to two counts of vehicular homicide.
     Authorities say Doeppke, of Elkader, was driving west when he didn't halt at a stop sign near Edgewood on Feb. 16 and collided with a northbound pickup. The two fatally injured boys were in the back seat of Doeppke's car. Officials identified them as 16-year-olds Brady Edwards and Izaiah Drinkwater.
     The pickup driver suffered minor injuries.

Kory Doeppke of Elkader was sentenced to a total of 25 years in prison this morning for two counts of vehicular homicide and a probation violation on an unrelated misdemeanor criminal mischief charge.

Sentencing Statement from the Clayton County Attorney:

Thank you your honor. We are all here this morning to confront the aftermath of two tragedies, the death of 16 year old Brady Mykel Edwards and the death of 16 year old Izaiah John Drinkwater. On Friday night February 16, 2018, these two 16 year olds were back seat passengers in a vehicle driven by 20 year old Kory Doeppke, the defendant in this case. There is no evidence that either Brady or Izaiah was drinking alcohol that night but we know for a fact that Kory Doeppke was and he was drinking too much.

How do we know the defendant was drinking too much? You could cite to the results of the blood sample taken at the hospital in Manchester, .133, to come to that conclusion.  Or you could use the results of the blood sample taken from the defendant in Iowa City four hours after the crash of .054 which our Department of Criminal Investigations (“DCI”) Expert analysis showed by retrograde extrapolation would range between .09 and .15 at the time of the incident. With an average alcohol elimination rate that would be .13. Or you could use the results of the blood sample taken from the defendant by an officer, which was .111 and came after the defendant told the deputy “why would I give you my blood I’m drunk”.

With too much alcohol in his system, the defendant drove down the road in way that caused the front seat passenger, a 15 year old, to yell and beg for him to stop. The defendant didn’t listen and eventually ran a stop sign at which time his car was broadsided by a pickup truck who had the right of way and whose driver was not drinking. The defendant and the 15 year front seat passenger survived this crash but Brady and Izaiah did not.

I find it important to note that Brady and Izaiah are the 3rd and 4th persons killed by a drunk driver in this county in the last three years. One of those victims, like Brady and Izaiah, was 16 years old when he died and the other was 22 years old. One of the two defendants responsible for those other deaths was, like the defendant, 20 years old at the time and the other defendant was 23 years old. That’s three 16 year olds and one 22 year old dying in vehicular homicides with two drivers aged 20 and one who was 23 years old. I don’t see the 16-23 year old age range of these victims and defendants as a coincidence.

The time is now for parents, grandparents, relatives, teachers, friends, and community members to talk to anyone who is in that 16 to 23 age range about the dangers of not only drinking and driving themselves but of riding in a vehicle with anyone who has been doing that. Of the prior vehicle homicides I outlined, it was always the passenger who died. The drivers all survived. This means picking who you ride with is just as important as driving responsibly yourself.  

This case and the vehicular homicides before it stand as a stark reminder to all the young people in our community that you are not invincible. Actions have consequences, sometimes serious consequences like a 25 year prison sentence. Sometimes fatal consequences like an early and abrupt end to your life. Don’t find out the hard way that you are not invincible.

As for Mr. Doeppke, no one is celebrating the fact that you are being sentenced as a 20 year old to a 25 year prison sentence. It’s an appropriate punishment for the crimes you committed but at the end of the day nothing can change the fact that two people are dead because of the decisions you made on February 16 of this year.

After you get out of prison I suggest you contact local schools starting with the high school you graduated from and ask to speak to the student body about the risks and consequences involved in drinking and driving. I’ve spoken multiple times to student bodies about this topic but it is one thing for young people to hear this message from me and quite another to hear it from you. There’s nothing any of us can do to bring back Brady or Izaiah but we should all do what we can to prevent the next one of these tragedies from occurring. Thank you.  

Sentencing Order:

IN THE IOWA DISTRICT COURT FOR CLAYTON COUNTY STATE OF IOWA Plaintiff VS KORY ALLEN DOEPPKE Defendant Case No: 01221 FECR015315 ORDER JUDGMENT AND SENTENCE APPEARANCES: Attorney Alan Heavens for the State Attorney Christopher Welch and Les Blair for the Defendant, and Defendant in person On the 31st day of July 2018, the Defendant pled guilty. The Defendant's guilty plea was found to be voluntarily and intelligently entered and as having a basis in fact. The Defendant was informed of the right to challenge the entry of the plea of guilty by filing a Motion in Arrest of Judgment. Such a motion must be filed within forty-five (45) days of pleading guilty and no later than five (5) days before the imposition of sentence. If these deadlines are not met, the Defendant loses the right to challenge the guilty plea on appeal. Defendant waived use of a presentence investigation, waived time for sentencing, waived the right to file a Motion in Arrest of Judgment and requested immediate sentencing. The Court hereby orders that the 1st Judicial District Department of Correctional Services prepare a presentence investigation report, file same with the Clerk of Court, and distribute copies as provided by law. Based on the record made, and pursuant to Iowa Code Section 901.6, IT IS NOW ORDERED AND ADJUDGED as follows: 1. Judgment. Defendant is guilty and is convicted of the following crimes: 1 of 5 E-FILED 2018 JUL 31 11:43 AM CLAYTON - CLERK OF DISTRICT COURT Count 1 Homicide by Vehicle, class B felony, in violation of Section(s) 707.6A(1), 321J.2. Date of offense: February 16 2018 Count 2 Homicide by Vehicle, class B felony, in violation of Section(s) 707.6A(1), 321J.2. Date of offense: February 16 2018 2. Incarceration and Fines. Pursuant to Iowa Code Section(s) in paragraph 1 above and 902.9, the defendant is sentenced to an indeterminate term of confinement of not more than that shown below plus fine and surcharge as follows: Count 1: 25 years, 0 plus 35% surcharge, , LEI, DARE Count 2: 25 years, 0 plus 35% surcharge, , LEI, DARE To obtain a substance abuse evaluation and comply with recommendations. To complete drinking drivers school. 3. Sentence of Incarceration. The above term of incarceration Sentence is not suspended. Pursuant to Iowa Code Section 901.7, the defendant is committed to the custody of the Director, Iowa Department of Corrections. The Sheriff of this county is ordered to transport the defendant to the Iowa Medical and Classification Center at Oakdale, Iowa. 4. Consecutive/Concurrent. Pursuant to Iowa Code Section(s) 901.5(9) (c) and 901.8, the above sentence(s) of confinement shall be served concurrently to each other. with the sentence imposed in Case No. SRCR014657. 5. Mandatory Minimum. A mandatory minimum sentence of incarceration is not applicable 6. Credit for Time Served. Pursuant to Iowa Code Section(s) 903.A5 and 901.6, the defendant shall be given credit for all time served in connection with this case. 7. Restitution. Pursuant to Iowa Code Section 910.2, and finding that the defendant is reasonably able to pay, the defendant shall pay and judgment is imposed against the defendant as follows: Pecuniary damages (determined at a later time) to the victim(s). Court costs are taxed to the Defendant. Per the restitution plan of payment as a condition of probation arranged by Department of Corrections consistent with chapter 26, Iowa Court Rules, including community service if deemed appropriate. If Department of Corrections is unable to set up a plan of payment prior to the expiration of 30 days, it is expected that the Defendant will pay a minimum of $50.00 per month with the first payment beginning on the 30th day after the entry of the judgment and continuing every 30 days thereafter until the Department of Corrections is able to set up an alternative plan with the Defendant. $150,000 restitution on each count to the estate of each victim, also restitution to the Iowa Victim Restitution Fund. 8. Driver's License Revocation. Pursuant to Iowa Code Section 901.5(10), the Iowa Department of Transportation ("IDOT") shall revoke defendant's driver license or motor vehicle operating privilege for a period of 6 years on Counts 1 and 2, no possiblity of reinstatement for two years. 2 of 5 E-FILED 2018 JUL 31 11:43 AM CLAYTON - CLERK OF DISTRICT COURT 9. Reduction of Term. Pursuant to Iowa Code Section 901.5(9)(a), (b), the court publicly announced that the defendant's term of incarceration may be reduced from the maximum sentence because of statutory earned time, work credits and program credits; and defendant may be eligible for parole before the sentence is discharged. In conformance with Section 901.9, the Court recommends that the Parole Board release defendant when satisfied that defendant can conform to lawful restrictions, be self-supporting, and be a contributing member of society. 10. Reasons for Sentence. The Court determines that the above sentence is most likely to protect society and rehabilitate the defendant based upon the nature of the offense, defendant's prior record, and the recommendation of the parties and for the reasons stated in the PSI, if any. 11. Additional Orders. There are no additional Orders. 12. DNA Profiling. The Defendant shall submit a physical specimen for DNA profiling, pursuant to Iowa Code Section(s) 81.2 and 901.5(8A)(a). 13. Related charges. If there exist any related charges requiring disposition, the parties shall inform the Court, and the Court will address those related charges by separate order in each applicable case. 14. Appeal and Bond. The defendant was advised of the right to appeal. Defendant has the right to apeal the sentence and verdict to the Iowa Supreme Court. Appeal is started by filing a written Notice of Appeal with the Clerk of this District Court. Copies of the Notice must be mailed to the County Attorney and the Attorney General of the State of Iowa. The Notice of Appeal must be filed within 30 days of this date or the right of appeal is lost. Pursuant to Iowa Code Section 811.1, bond on appeal is set as follows: $1,000,000 15. Court-Appointed Counsel Fees: If the Defendant was represented by court-appointed counsel, the Defendant must pay restitution for attorney fees pursuant to Iowa Code Section 815.9, including the expense of a public defender. The court finds upon inquiry, opportunity to be heard and a review of the court file, that the Defendant's reasonable ability to pay attorney's fees shall be in the amount actually submitted by court-appointed counsel or $0, whichever is less. The Defendant is advised that if defendant appeals this ruling, the defendant may be entitled to court-appointed appellate counsel on appeal. If the defendant qualifies for court-appointed appellate counsel, the cost of the court-appointed appellate attorney may be assessed against the defendant when a claim for such fees is presented to the clerk of court following the appeal. The court has considered the financial situation of the defendant, the sentence imposed herein and defendant's ability to reimburse the state for court-appointed appellate attorney fees, and the court determines that if an appeal is taken herein, the defendant shall pay the actual amount submitted by the court-appointed appellate counsel or $, whichever is less. 3 of 5 E-FILED 2018 JUL 31 11:43 AM CLAYTON - CLERK OF DISTRICT COURT 16. Bonds Exonerated. All outstanding bonds are exonerated. JUDGMENT IS ENTERED ACCORDINGLY THIS 31st day of July, 2018. Copies: Counsel