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W.Va. DUI death case waived to circuit court

September 12, 2008

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A 26-year-old Berkeley County man accused of being intoxicated when he wrecked the motorcycle he was operating in April 2007, causing the death of an 18-year-old man, waived his right to a preliminary hearing Friday in magistrate court.

William "Billy" Wayne Dehaven Jr., of 23 Reunion Corner Road in Gerrardstown, W.Va., is charged with driving under the influence with death, and evidence supporting the charge can now be presented to a grand jury in circuit court, the state's trial court.

Police have said that Dehaven had been drinking heavily before the head-on collision with another bike along Trinity Church Road on April 24, 2007, that caused the death of Steven R. Warner.

Records obtained by the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department from Winchester Medical Center after the accident show Dehaven's blood-alcohol level was .131, higher than the state limit of .08, police had said.

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The hospital's urine drug screen record also indicated Dehaven had cannabinoids, a derivative of marijuana, in his body, police said.

A teenager riding with Warner survived the accident, but was severely injured, police said. Dehaven was traveling left of center when he struck the other bike, according to police.

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