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El Dorado man charged in Wichita traffic death of retired librarian

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, August 1, 2013, at 9:02 p.m.
  • Updated Friday, August 2, 2013, at 5:13 p.m.

An El Dorado man has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, among other crimes, in the June 24 traffic death of Arlene Root, a retired art and music librarian.

Court records show Matthew R. Mabry, 34, faces the manslaughter charge as well as six other counts in the fatal crash in Wichita: aggravated battery for harming the driver of another vehicle involved in the wreck, driving under the influence, possession of controlled substances, possession of drug paraphernalia and two traffic violations.

His preliminary hearing is set for Wednesday. Manslaughter and aggravated battery are felony offenses.

Authorities have said Root, 89, died after Mabry drifted into oncoming traffic on Central near West Street and hit a truck pulling a trailer loaded with lawn equipment. The truck overturned, causing the trailer to hit and crush Root’s 1950 Plymouth.

Mabry was arrested July 18 on an unrelated burglary and theft case, according to records from the Sedgwick County Jail and Sedgwick County District Court. He remained in custody Friday on $75,000 bond for the charges involving Root’s death. He is also held in lieu of $25,000 bond on the theft and burglary charges and on a $15,000 bond for failing to appear in a 2012 Butler County case, records show.

In a financial affidavit filed July 24 – the date he was charged – Mabry said he was unemployed and lived at his parents’ El Dorado home. He is being represented by a court-appointed attorney.

Reach Amy Renee Leiker at 316-268-6644 or aleiker@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @amyreneeleiker.

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