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Sheldon Man Pleads Not Guilty to Hitting Hunters During 2013 Gun Deer Season

Monday, June 9th, 2014 -- 12:53 PM

-A Sheldon man appeared in Taylor County Court on Monday for hitting two hunters with his vehicle during the 2013 gun deer season.

According to the Taylor County Sheriff?s Department, 52-year-old Juan Salinas of Roscoe, Illinois and 53-year-old Fernando Salinas also of Roscoe, Illinois, were struck by a vehicle. Juan Salinas died of his injuries. The accident happened at Miller Avenue and County Line Road, 9 miles west of Gilman.

According to authorities, the driver of the vehicle that hit the two hunters, 42-year-old James Winchel of Sheldon, was driving at a high rate of speed, close to 50 mph, and the two hunters couldn?t get out of the way. Authorities said that Winchel?s blood alcohol level was .19%, more than double the legal limit and he admitted to police that he had several beers before the incident.

Winchel did enter not guilty pleas to the charges filed against him, which includes homicide, OWI, and more. He will appear in court again in August for a motion hearing and he?s scheduled to go before a jury at the very end of September, beginning of October. He remains in the Taylor County Jail on a $50,000 cash bond.

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