Jury trial begins Monday in Mercer County Court

Cathy Decker/Staff reporter

A jury trial began with the seating of the jury finalized at around 3 p.m. Monday, Sept. 27, 2010. The case involves the state vs. Doyle Lee Bundy, 52, of McRae, Ark., who was arrested by a deputy from the Mercer County Sheriff’s department on June 19, 2010, in the early hours of the morning after being alerted by a passerby. He was charged with three counts of aggravated driving under intoxication, three counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and three counts of possession of cannabis.

The jury is comprised of six men, six women and another woman as alternate.

The passerby, John Engle, a highway maintenance employee with the Illinois Department of Transportation, was the first witness called to the stand by Assistant States Attorney Meeghan Lee. Engle testified he was traveling between Keithsburg towards Aledo, while in the process of putting up water over the road signs after a heavy rain.

He noticed a vehicle at the side of the road and stopped to see if any assistance was needed. He said there was a man, who he identified as the defendant Doyle Lee Bundy, slumped over the steering wheel. He tried to wake the individual but was unsuccessful. He then called the Mercer County Sheriff’s office.

He said he was concerned because the person “might need medical help.”

He said he could see a beer can between the legs of the man. He also testified he had never seen the man before. Engle, 43, said he had lived his entire life in Mercer County, except for 10 years when he served in the Navy.

He waited, as requested by MC dispatch,  until an officer arrived.

He said a deputy arrived within five minutes, and another one within a minute or two of the first officer’s arrival.

After the second officer arrived he left the scene “after about a minute.”

Mercer County deputy Jason Monson was the first officer to arrive on the scene. He gave testimony to his length of service (since Feb. 1, 2007), his drug and alcohol training and explained what to look for during a stop for DUI.

Officer Monson testified the person sitting in the blue Chevy Astro Van was facing the west and parked along the side of the road. As he approached the vehicle the man was sitting up, with his head forward and the driver’s side window was down. There was an open can of beer pushed between his legs. He testified he had difficulty waking up the person, by shouting, shaking and pounding on the car. He awakened a little, then fell back to sleep. Another deputy, Deputy David Staley arrived shortly after he did.

The man identified himself as Doyle Bundy. “He told me his license was suspended,” said Monson.

He said Bundy also told him there were no keys to the van. That it started without. The van did not belong to Bundy. Bundy also refused a breath test.

On cross examination, Public Defender Clarence M. Darrow asked Monson questions about the number of states attorneys available in Mercer County who could request a search warrant, indicating there were two, with one living in Aledo. He also pointed to the number of judges and asked whether he offered the defendant to go to the hospital and take a blood or urine test?

Monson testified he did not seek a warrant, nor did he offer to have the hospital tests taken.

Officer Staley and Mercer County deputy Tony Baugh, trained breathalizer technician, also testified, before the defense rested at 4:14 p.m. Two exhibits were entered by ASA Lee into evidence, two one-hit cannabis devices, with around three grams of what had been determined to be cannabis. After the jury was excused, two other pieces of evidence were admitted into evidence from the state – a one page sheet from the State of Illinois indicating the revocation of Bundy’s drivers license, which was in effect on June 19, 2010, and green plant material that was in a small baggie that measured three grams of cannabis.

The trial will continued at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.