An Austin man who led law enforcement on a vehicle pursuit while under the influence of alcohol on May 1st, 2022 that ended in a fiery crash that destroyed the pickup truck he was driving has been sentenced to jail time and supervised probation in Mower County District Court.
24-year-old Melchor Barnabas was convicted and sentenced Friday to 60 days in jail and three years of supervised probation for a felony charge of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle. Barnabas was granted a stay of imposition on the charge where the defendant pleads guilty to a felony-level offense. If he or she successfully completes their probation, the conviction will be deemed a misdemeanor. Barnabas was also convicted and sentenced Friday to one year in jail and one year of supervised probation for a gross misdemeanor charge of DWI, operating a motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration of .08 or higher within two hours. Barnabas must follow 15 different conditions while on probation, and he was also convicted and sentenced Friday to 90 days in jail and one year of supervised probation for a misdemeanor charge of tampering with a motor vehicle, ride in or on without the owner’s permission. Barnabas must adhere to 19 different conditions while on probation, and he pleaded guilty to the three charges on October 14th, 2022. Judge Kevin Siefken determined Friday that Barnabas will be allowed to serve all three sentences concurrently.
Misdemeanor charges for reckless driving, open bottle, and for driving an uninsured motor vehicle in the case against Barnabas were dismissed with his guilty pleas.