Jurors on Monday returned guilty verdicts against a man accused of killing two disabled Wichitans and harming others in a drunken-driving traffic crash last year.
Bret Blevins, 57, of Wichita was tried on more than a dozen criminal counts connected to the May 6, 2016, deaths of 46-year-old Dirk MacMillan and 25-year-old Leonard “Dusty” Atterbery, including involuntary manslaughter and second-degree murder. MacMillan and Atterbery were residents of mental disability service provider Starkey Inc. The men were in a van with two Starkey staff members and another Starkey resident that was broadsided by a Cadillac Escalade that ran a stop sign at the intersection of Young and Newell at about 3:45 p.m. that day.
The question of guilt came down to who was driving the Escalade.
Prosecutors contended it was Blevins, who crawled out the driver’s-side window of the SUV and fled after the crash, then refused to submit to drug and alcohol testing. The tests, obtained using a search warrant, showed he had methamphetamine in his system and a blood alcohol level 1.5 times the legal limit to drive in Kansas, according to court records.
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Defense attorney Carl Maughan, during closing arguments Monday morning, suggested a woman who was with Blevins might have been behind the wheel. He urged jurors to hand down an acquittal, saying the state’s evidence against Blevins was nothing more than assumptions about how the crash happened “and accusations based on those assumptions.”
Sedgwick County District Attorney Aaron Breitenbach disagreed. The collision, he argued, resulted from “a series of choices the defendant made.”
Blevins is scheduled for sentencing on June 15, according to court records. District Judge Ben Burgess presided over his trial. It started last week.