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Trooper: Man admitted drinking, painkiller use before wreck

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MARBLE HILL, Mo. (AP) _ A state trooper says a man accused of causing a southeast Missouri crash that killed two people riding a motorcycle says the man admitted ingesting alcoholic drinks and painkillers before driving that day.

The Southeast Missourian of Cape Girardeau says Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper Mark Ashby gave that account while testifying Monday during a Bollinger County hearing for 49-year-old Paul E. Patton.

Patton is charged with two involuntary manslaughter counts related to the September deaths of Farmington residents Richard Augustine and Debra Smith.

Ashby testified Patton told him his dog jumped onto his lap as he was driving, causing him to swerve into the motorcyclists’ path.

Ashby, when questioned by Patton’s attorney, acknowledged he didn’t advise Patton of his right to remain silent at the scene.
Information from: Southeast Missourian