• Teen pleads guilty to DWI in crash that killed classmate


    A teenager accused of causing a crash that killed his friend in Hickory pleaded guilty to DWI and involuntary manslaughter and will have to report to jail on Christmas Eve.

    David Engelmann pleaded guilty Tuesday in Catawba County.

    Investigators said Engelmann drove off the road and flipped his car last August. His Hickory High School classmate, Jay Roberston II was thrown from the car and died.

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    Engelmann, who was 17 at the time of the crash, was traveling at least 49 mph in a 35 mph zone, and an open bottle of tequila was found in the vehicle. Investigation by Hickory Police Department revealed that Engelmann’s blood alcohol level was .09.

    The judge gave Engelmann a suspended sentence of 13-25 months along with 18 months of unsupervised probation while he is a student at SUNY-Binghamton in New York.

    Engelmann must report to a designated facility in New York and submit to alcohol/drug testing within four hours of receiving notice from his attorney and those results must be turned over to the DA’s Office for review.

    Additionally, Engelmann will serve a 60-day split jail sentence in Catawba County. He will report to the jail at 3 p.m. on Dec. 24 and remain incarcerated there until 3 p.m. on Jan. 8, 2016.

    The remaining 45 days of that split sentence will be served starting at 3 p.m. seven days after the final day of Engelmann’s spring semester in college.

    He is also required to pay restitution in the amount of $4,775 to Robertson’s parents within 12 months, and Engelmann is not allowed to operate a motor vehicle for the next 12 months.

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