Warrant issued for 11 felony counts after OWI crash

Kendall Avery

JEFFERSON -- A bench warrant has been issued for the arrest of a Watertown man who did not appear for a hearing in recent days after being charged in Jefferson County Circuit Court with 11 felony counts related to an alleged alcohol-related traffic crash at the end of 2018.

The two-vehicle collision occurred near South Church and Bernard streets in Watertown on Dec. 30, 2018.

A bench warrant is also in effect for Kendall Avery, 28, of 115 S. First St., Watertown, on another open case in Jefferson County in which he is charged with one count each of substantial battery, disorderly conduct and two counts of criminal damage to property, with all of those offenses allegedly occurring in Watertown in the fall of 2018.

According to a criminal complaint, the substantial battery and other charges are connected to an incident Sept. 14, 2018 at 1153 Boughton St., Apartment C, where Avery allegedly smashed a window and knocked a woman unconscious, breaking her glasses, when he punched her in the face twice. When police arrived, Avery consented to a preliminary breath test, which showed a result of .238 BAC, according to the complaint.

In the subsequent traffic-related case, the criminal complaint stated that on Dec. 30, 2018, at 7:44 p.m., Avery, already charged with a felony and having been released from custody, was involved in the two-vehicle collision at Church and Bernard streets. The crash was serious enough that airbags deployed.

When they arrived, officers saw a group of people gathered and Avery lying face down on the ground. Road conditions were wet from a previous rain. Officers asked Avery his name, but could not make out his response. They also observed multiple injuries on his face.

(An officer) heard a child screaming from inside the vehicle, the complaint stated. "He observed a young female child seated in the rear of the vehicle and the child was later identified as (a 7-year-old). Also inside the vehicle was a female, front-seat passenger who was identified. (The child) was screaming, crying and appeared to be in a lot of pain. The officer observed that much of the damage to the vehicle was right where the child was seated, and that part of the vehicle was caved in toward the child. He noted that the child's extremities did not appear to be trapped."

Members of the Watertown Fire Department and EMS arrived and removed the vehicle's convertible top to extract the child who was then transported by EMS and later sent, via Med Flight helicopter, to Milwaukee. Avery was taken by ambulance to Aurora Medical Center in Summit for treatment. He was later transferred to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee.

Witnesses said the vehicle operated by Avery had been northbound on South Church Street, passed another vehicle on the right and moved over into the left lane near Bernard and Church streets. In doing so, Avery seemed to over-correct and his vehicle crossed into oncoming traffic, where it struck another traveling south on Church. The driver of the other vehicle was not injured. The woman who was traveling in the vehicle with Avery and the young girl was interviewed by officers. At that time, officers said she had blood on her face and complained of chest pain.

"She identified the defendant Kendall Avery as the vehicle driver," the complaint stated, but she said she could not remember how the crash happened.

"(The woman) told the officer that she and the defendant were currently living at the Carlton House and the owner of the (car Avery was driving) had dropped off the car for them to use," the complaint stated. "They drove over to the Candle-Glo Motel to see one of Kendall's friends ... After leaving the Candle-Glo, they went to pick up (the 7-year-old girl) at her grandmother's house on Boughton Street. After picking up (the girl), they drove to Domino's to get food and then went to the Rose Garden Restaurant to let (a guardian of the girl know they had picked the child up)."

The woman told officers that, after leaving the Rose Garden, Avery was driving the car and the crash happened shortly thereafter.

The complaint stated that in an interview with Watertown EMS personnel, they were able to smell alcohol on Avery's breath during their transport of him to Aurora. Avery also told EMS personnel he had smoked marijuana earlier in the day. An open container of intoxicants was located in the vehicle, operated by Avery, at the scene of the crash.

The woman in the Avery vehicle was diagnosed with a bruised lung, while the girl sustained a fractured femur.

Avery was taken into custody on Jan. 1 and transported from Froedert Hospital to the Watertown Police Department booking area, then to the Jefferson County Jail.

When she was interviewed, the young girl who was in the Avery vehicle, told investigators, "Dad was driving too fast."

A state court records listing for the OWI/crash-related complaint stated Avery is facing several charges, including causing injury to a person under 16 years of age by operating while intoxicated, causing injury by operating with a prohibited blood-alcohol content, causing harm by operating without a valid driver's license, felony bail jumping, causing injury by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle and causing injury by driving with a prohibited blood-alcohol content.

The complaint goes on to state that Avery had appeared Sept. 18, 2018, before Jefferson County Judge Ben Brantmeier on his charges of substantial battery as a repeater, the two counts of criminal damage to property as a repeater and disorderly conduct as a repeater. He was released on a signature bond of $5,000 with the conditions he commit no crimes and ingest no alcohol, thus the felony bail jumping charges became active after the crash.

Bench warrants are open on Avery after he failed to appear before Brantmeier for a hearing that was scheduled for Aug. 13. His attorney Joseph M. Ricker told Brantmeier he had no information on Avery's whereabouts.

Complainant, Jefferson County Assistant District Attorney Brookellen Teuber, said a review of state court records also indicated Avery was convicted of retail theft of more than $500, but less than $5,000 in Jefferson County following charges issued in 2014.

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