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Beldenville man gets one year jail for OWI, reckless driving

Thomas O'Brien sat in a Pierce County courtroom Tuesday afternoon still showing the lingering effects of an accident that happened nearly 14 months ago.

Pepin/Buffalo Circuit Court Judge James Duvall advised him that if he's feeling pity for himself, to knock it off.

"This isn't about you or the wreck you made of your life," Duvall said during O'Brien's sentencing hearing. "It's about the impact you made on the Perez family and their lives."

O'Brien, 22, Beldenville, pled guilty to nine charges Tuesday, including three OWI's and multiple misdemeanors, which included reckless driving. In total, he was sentenced to 365 days jail and put on four years probation, which included his driving privileges being revoked for 24 months.


Seven of those nine charges related to an incident on July 28, 2008 in which O'Brien was traveling northbound on Hwy. 65, just north of Beldenville. He crossed the centerline in the southbound lane and struck a truck that was driven by Scott Perez, Ellsworth. Perez's wife Shannon and the couple's then three-year-old daughter Jordyn were passengers in the truck. The Perezes had to be transferred to River Falls Area Hospital.

Records show that O'Brien was on his phone texting just prior to when the crash occurred.

For more please read the Sept. 30 print version of the Herald.

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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