• Fri September 16 2005
  • Posted Sep 15, 2005
Authorities say Jade Perry was driving drunk when he struck Donald 'Brian' Shaver. By TOM ALEX REGISTER STAFF WRITER September 16, 2005 Polk County authorities say a Baxter man was drunk when his car struck and fatally injured an Ankeny bicyclist earlier this week. Jade Ryan Perry, 33, then picked up the mangled bicycle and drove it to a creek 16 miles from the place where Donald "Brian" Shaver lay unconscious, sheriff's office investigators said Thursday. Perry is charged with vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident. The vehicular homicide charge is punishable by up to 25 years in prison. Shaver, 45, died late Sunday from injuries suffered when he was struck in the 4200 block of Northeast 94th Avenue while on a pre-dawn bike ride. His wife, Sheryl Shaver, said earlier this week that her husband, a moving company owner, was squeezing in one more ride before the two headed for Arizona on a working vacation A passing motorist found Shaver, who was still wearing his helmet. Sheriff's spokesman John Hampel said suspected intoxication is key to the vehicular homicide charge against Perry, whose attorney contacted investigators earlier this week and negotiated Perry's surrender Thursday. Perry was in the Polk County Jail on $56,000 bond. "We've cooperated. . . . He turned himself in as asked to do," Perry's attorney, Jake Feuerhelm, said. "He has strong community ties and a close-knit family that is supporting him." Hampel would not provide specifics on why deputies believe Perry was drunk at the time of the accident. Investigators still have not questioned Perry, who has remained mum on advice from his lawyer, officials said. Perry's blood-alcohol content could not have been measured in a timely manner, which means authorities will try to establish through witnesses that he had been drinking Sunday before the crash. The task is similar to the case against a South Dakota man who is accused in a fatal accident earlier this summer on Iowa's West Okoboji Lake. Justin Allen Nearman's arrest came 11 days after the crash, which killed Dallas County dentist Michael Brosnahan. Prosecutors in both cases will need to convince juries beyond a reasonable doubt that the men were drunk when the crashes occurred. And they'll have to do so without scientific blood-alcohol evidence. Polk officials said Perry was driving a 1995 Lincoln Continental that is registered to his parents. He had a valid driver's license and no history of drunken-driving arrests, Iowa court records show. Hampel was asked at a news conference Thursday why it took so long to track down a suspect. "Actually, this was very short. This case came together very well for us," he said. "The cooperation of the media, the cooperation of the public and their willingness to talk with us." Hampel said investigators still have roughly a dozen interviews to conduct. Perry is a 1990 graduate of Baxter High School, where Superintendent Neil Seales remembers him as "very pleasant and well-liked." Perry "comes from a very good family," Seales said.

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