Accused drunk driver in court on day of teen’s funeral

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Fort Wayne man accused of driving drunk and causing a fatal accident while fleeing the scene of a shooting went before an Allen County judge for the first time Monday morning.

Jeremy D. Washington, 35, was with his attorney and wife Monday as he had his initial hearing. Washington is being accused of being involved with a shooting at the Corner Pocket Pub in Fort Wayne. Investigators said he sped away from the scene, and crashed into Haley Nellum, 17, of Fort Wayne, at the intersection of Stellhorn and Hobson Roads after midnight on March 29. Nellum died at the scene. Police said his blood alcohol content (BAC) was .15 at the time of the crash.

During his hearing, the prosecutor wanted certain conditions to be met by Washington since he remains out of jail on bond. He can’t drive while he’s on trial. He’s also not allowed to have any weapons in his possession. The judge made a final order for him to not have any contact with anyone involved in the case.

NewsChannel 15 spoke with Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards about Washington being out on bond. Richards said since it’s not a murder trial, Washington has the right to bond out of jail. His total bond was set at $170,000. Richard said he paid 10 percent of it and was released last week.

Washington was attentive and cooperative during Monday’s hearing.

The judge told Washington that not driving while on trial is a “condition that will be taken very seriously.” He must surrender his license to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicle.

“He’s pretty stressed out, but he understands what happened,” said Harry Foster, Washington’s attorney. “He understands how people can feel pretty bad about everything. I mean, a lot of injured people here.”

Foster said Washington has been receiving death threats via social media. He said seven threats showed up on Facebook.

Foster also claims that Washington lost his job at BF Goodrich in Woodburn, Ind. right after the incident on March 29. Washington’s attorney claims family members of the victim work there, so they let him go to eliminate any conflict. He said a union representative for BF Goodrich, USW Local 715, was fighting for his job back.

NewsChannel 15 contacted a spokesperson for BF Goodrich. He told us that Washington’s key to get into the building was disable, but he wasn’t for sure if he was suspended or terminated. We reached out to USW Local 715 to see if the union was trying to get Washington’s job back. Representatives didn’t have a comment on the matter. Any more information about Washington being either suspended or terminated wasn’t available since BF Goodrich officials said it’s a personnel issue.

Washington’s next hearing has been scheduled for June 7.

Washington faces the following charges:

  • Attempted Murder
  • Attempted Murder
  • Attempted Murder
  • Aggravated Battery (injury causes protracted loss or impairment)
  • Reckless Homicide
  • Causing Death When Operating a Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated
  • Causing Serious Bodily Injury when Operating a Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated
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