Man charged in fatal crash involving buggy pleads not guilty to all charges

Connor Keene Photo: Fillmore County
Connor Keene

January 08, 2019 09:31 AM

A Canton man facing 10 charges in connection to a fatal hit-and-run crash that involved a buggy in Fillmore County last year has entered not guilty pleas to each count.

According to court records, 24-year-old Connor Louis Keene pleaded not guilty Monday in Fillmore County to four counts of felony criminal vehicular homicide, one count of felony traffic collision (driver fail to stop), one count of felony traffic collision (failure to notify police of injury), two gross misdemeanor counts of traffic collision (driver fail to stop), one misdemeanor count of traffic collision (driver fail to stop) and one misdemeanor count of careless driving.

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RELATED: Man charged in connection to fatal crash involving buggy in Fillmore County

A pre-trial date is scheduled for March 25.

According to the criminal complaint, a Fillmore County sheriff's deputy was called on Aug. 31 of last year to County Road 21 on reports of a collision involving a buggy. When the deputy arrived, he located debris and wood from a vehicle and buggy. 

The complaint said the deputy located a passenger from the buggy - identified as William Stutzman - lying on his back in a ditch.

RELATED: Amish man dies after alleged hit-and-run crash; suspect in custody

Another passenger and driver of the buggy told authorities they were traveling on County Road 21 when they were hit by a vehicle. The passenger told authorities the car took off right after the collision. 

While at the scene, a deputy located car parts with the letters BUIC, leading them to believe the suspect vehicle was a Buick.

Authorities later learned a suspect vehicle had been located on County Road 16.

The complaint said authorities located Keene and a woman in the woods near the vehicle. Authorities found the license plate belonging to the suspect vehicle in the woods. It was registered to Keene. 

According to the complaint, a preliminary breath test administered at the jail revealed Keene had a blood alcohol concentration of .18. A search warrant was also signed, allowing authorities to draw blood from him. 

Authorities later learned Stutzman died from injuries sustained during the crash. 

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