Shayne Healea, a recently re-elected Republican prosecutor in Moniteau County, Missouri was indicted on five counts last Friday for backing into a glass-block window at a downtown Columbia restaurant Oct. 25. The wreck sent debris flying that injured four people, according to the Columbia Tribune.
Healea, a former police officer, was named as “Republican of the Year” in 2012 by Moniteau County Republicans at their annual Lincoln Day Dinner. He has been in office since 2010.
The 36-year-old prosecutor was charged with felony leaving the scene of an accident when Columbia police and fire departments were dispatched to Addison’s restaurant after he crashed through the large picture window. He also faces four counts of second-degree assault for the injuries he caused.
According to court papers, the grand jury found that Healea “operated a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and acted with criminal negligence in that defendant reversed into a parking spot” and crashed into a building.
Although he didn’t act with integrity, and behaved like a criminal rather than a prosecutor, he has kept his job. In fact, his colleagues don’t have much to say about the case, and have already recused themselves, according to the Columbia Tribune:
Healea left the scene and parked his truck in front of the Tiger Hotel on Eighth Street, police said. He refused a breath-alcohol test, police said, and a warrant was secured and executed to draw his blood. It is unclear if the results from the toxicology screen have been returned to police. Healea was arrested and released from the Boone County Jail after posting a $22,500 bond.
His bond was scheduled to be refunded on Wednesday had charges not been filed. Following the indictment, he was granted a release on his own recognizance, meaning he didn’t have to put up any money for his bond.
Boone County Prosecutor Dan Knight requested a special prosecutor in the case against Healea a few days after Healea’s arrest because the two have a working relationship. Boone County Circuit Judge Gary Oxenhandler assigned Attorney General Chris Koster’s office. Koster appointed Assistant Attorney General Julie Tolle.
Eric Slusher, spokesman for Koster, and Healea did not return calls seeking comment late Friday. A woman who answered the phone at Healea’s office said he has been working as usual since his arrest and that he was not in the office Friday afternoon.
According to Columbia police, Healea left the scene of Addison’s at Seventh and Cherry and was found in a nearby alley a short time later. He was then arrested on suspicion of second-degree assault and leaving the scene of an accident.
However, the day after the accident, Healea released a statement to the media explaining he didn’t notice his tailgate hit the window and claiming he returned to the scene after a witness told him what happened.
Only one of those statements, obviously, can be true.
Healea is aware of what process he is about to go through, and apparently has no plans to resign.
His request for a stay to delay his driver’s license revocation by the Department of Revenue was denied. (The Department of Revenue automatically revokes licenses of drivers who refuse breathalyzers, but allows 15 days for them to appeal.)
Healea faces arraignment on December 2.
The penalties are up to seven years in prison for each count of assault and up to four years for leaving the scene of an accident, a class D felony.