TROY, Mo. – A man is accused of driving while intoxicated and other offenses during a deadly crash involving a Lincoln County deputy earlier this summer. A search warrant from the Missouri State Highway Patrol was reportedly key in the prosecution.
Prosecutors have charged David Case, 35, with DWI (Death of Another Person), failure to drive on the right half of the highway, and operating a motor vehicle without maintaining financial responsibility.
According to Lincoln County Prosecuting Attorney Mike Wood, Case was “more than twice the legal limit” at the time of the crash.
The crash happened around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 8, along Highway J, just south of Brunning Lane, in unincorporated Lincoln County.
Deputy Steven Tucker, who was off-duty that night, was riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle northbound on the highway when the driver of a 2008 Ford Focus driving in the opposite direction swerved across the center line of the narrow road and struck Tucker head-on.
Tucker died at the scene. He was 60.
Tucker had just started working as a bailiff in the department about six months earlier. He was previously a Wright City police officer and the chief of police for Berger, Missouri. He’d also served for decades in the U.S. Army.
“It was always just a pleasure to be around him,” bailiff Rich Daniels said. “He just immediately fit in. He was talkative; he would visit; he shared stories; he had so many stories for all of his dedication to our country through the military and through his previous military experience. He was just a joy to be around, and it broke a lot of hearts when this ordeal started.”
The Missouri State Highway Patrol investigated this case, writing in a probable cause statement that the suspect, David Case, “was combative, repeatedly questioning medical personnel,” and that he was “not able to tell me how the crash occurred.” The PC statement also said Case’s car had “numerous bottles of alcohol, including an open Natural Light.”
Court records indicate Case already had a prior DWI from a reported May 10, 2015, arrest in Lincoln County.
“We had not forgotten. I know we’re a few months down the road, but we wanted to make sure we had every I dotted; every T crossed,” Wood said. “That all the evidence was there and that we would have a prosecutable case beyond a reasonable doubt.”
That final piece Wood needed was the highway patrol’s blood test, which came back with a 0.151 blood alcohol content level. Prosecutors contend the defendant was more than twice the legal limit because the blood draw was taken two and a half hours after the crash.
Wood said there were no issues with his office prosecuting a case involving a courthouse bailiff since the Missouri State Highway Patrol investigated the case and not the sheriff’s department.
“This is a small community. We prosecute people who we know, we recognize, even people we work with,” Wood said. “But if there’s anything that rises to something that’s a legal conflict, there’s not at this point.”
The county prosecutors said he hopes holding drivers accountable will have an impact on what he says has been a recent spike in alcohol-related incidents.
“This one is particularly egregious. That’s a high BAC. We try as best we can to send the message: please don’t drink and drive,” Wood said.
Prosecutors have requested a no-bond warrant. If convicted, Case faces up to 15 years in prison.