Brownstown man makes first appearance in Marion County Court on fatal DUI case

Brownstown man makes first appearance in Marion County Court on fatal DUI case

MARION COUNTY — A 23-year-old Brownstown man made his first appearance Wednesday in Marion County court for a fatal 2016 DUI crash after the Fifth Appellate District remanded the case back to the lower court for prosecution.

Ryan Feezel was charged in connection with a July 2016 traffic crash on U.S. 51 north of Patoka that claimed the life of Kevin Koenegstein, an Odin resident and Salem businessman.

In court Wednesday a pre-trial conference was scheduled for April 17, when a possible plea may be made.

The Illinois Fifth Appellate Court denied a defense motion in December calling on the court to dismiss the felony charge of Class 2 felony aggravated DUI against Feezel.

Feezel had argued that the state was barred from prosecuting him on the DUI charge as he had already pleaded guilty to a traffic citation for improper lane usage and had paid the fine before the felony case was filed.

The record indicates that prior to receiving the report, the State was only aware that the defendant had caused the crash by veering out of his lane and that he had stated that he had fallen asleep at the wheel.

Prosecutors argued that the DUI offense was not “known to” the State prior to its receipt of the laboratory report indicating that methamphetamine had been detected in Feezel’s urine sample taken after the crash.

The Appellate Court agreed with the prosecution and remanded the case back to Marion County.

According to the Illinois State Police, Feezel initially told them he had fallen asleep when his southbound SUV crossed the center line of the highway, striking Koenegstein’s motorcycle, which overturned and caught fire.