Niles man sentenced to probation for drunk driving

Published 8:34 am Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Niles man who injured an 8-year-old girl and her father while snowmobiling in Howard Township has been sentenced to eight months of probation for drunk driving.

Randall Womble

Randall Womble

A six-person jury took approximately 15 minutes to find Randall Womble, 60, guilty of one count of operating while intoxicated after a morning of testimony and presentation of evidence by Cass County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Sarah Mathews.

Womble was sentenced after the guilty verdict to eight months probation by Fourth District Court Judge, Stacey Rentfrow.

Testimony revealed that on Jan. 25, Womble had been drinking in his home before he went out to move his wife’s vehicle from a home down the street back to his property. In attempting to park the vehicle in his own driveway, Womble struck a snowmobile driven by Keith Peterson. Keith’s daughter was a passenger on the vehicle.

The child and her parent were both transported to a local hospital for treatment of non-life

threatening injuries following the incident.

Trial evidence showed that after the collision Womble declined to render any assistance to the endangered father or daughter.

“It’s bad enough that he hit these folks with his car,” said Prosecutor Victor Fitz. “It’s worse that he was drunk. And it’s inexcusable that an injured little girl and her father had to fend for themselves in the cold.”

Instead, he fled back into his house until the police arrived. During that time the father and little girl, both suffering from leg injuries, waited until nearby neighbors responded. An ambulance took them to the hospital shortly thereafter.

The prosecution presented evidence that on the night of the incident, Womble admitted to Cass County Deputy Jason Pompey that he had drank two 22-ounce beers before the accident. Further, he stated his original intentions had been to stay home and have a few beers.

At trial, however, Womble changed his version of events. He asserted only having a couple of sips of beer before the crash and then drinking more alcohol after the collision.

The prosecution presented evidence that Womble’s blood alcohol content was .09 grams per 210 liters of breath two hours after the incident.