JUNEAU – A 23-year-old Watertown man was found guilty Friday afternoon of charges that stemmed from a car crash that killed a 21-year-old woman.
Wesley A. Ismert, 1015 Highland Ave., Apt. 3, pleaded no contest to homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle.
A charge of homicide by use of a vehicle with a prohibited alcohol concentration was dismissed.
The hearing was originally scheduled for motions. However, defense attorney Bill Mayer withdrew the motions he had filed on Ismert’s behalf and Ismert entered a plea of no contest, noting that there was no agreement with the district attorney’s office.
Ismert said he understood that the district attorney could argue for the maximum punishment of 40 years in prison broken into 25 years of incarceration and 15 years of extended supervision.
According to the complaint, at 1:49 a.m. on Oct. 20, officers were dispatched to a car crash in the area of Hill Street and Highland Avenue in Watertown. When officers arrived, the woman was unresponsive in the vehicle. The vehicle was on its top with the front resting against a wall and the trunk on the ground. A telephone pole had also been sheared off in the crash, and was hanging from the electrical lines.
Ismert allegedly told 911 dispatchers that he had been driving too fast, hit a curb and flipped the vehicle.
Investigators estimate that the vehicle was going between 71 and 86 mph. It also did not appear that neither Ismert nor the woman was wearing a seat belt.
Ismert was transported and admitted to Watertown Regional Hospital for his injuries. Officers believed they smelled intoxicants. A blood draw was performed. The district attorney entered the state crime lab report on Thursday. Ismert’s blood alcohol concentration was .144 at the time of the draw.
An autopsy showed that the passenger died of blunt force trauma during the crash.
Judge Steven Bauer ordered a presentencing investigation report and set the case for a sentencing hearing on June 10.