Kansas Sen. Gene Suellentrop is back in court Monday on his DUI case. What to expect




  • In US
  • 2021-10-25 10:00:00Z
  • By Kansas City Star
 

Kansas State Sen. Gene Suellentrop will appear in court Monday, seven months after he was arrested for allegedly driving drunk on the wrong side of a Topeka highway and fleeing Capitol Police.

The Wichita Republican and former Senate Majority Leader is facing a felony fleeing and eluding charge as well as misdemeanor traffic violation and driving under the influence charges.

The court date was originally announced as preliminary hearing, which was expected to determine whether there was probable cause to believe Suellentrop committed a felony and to continue the case against him..

It has has been changed to a plea hearing, which indicates that the Senator may have reached an agreement with Shawnee County prosecutors.

According to police and 911 audio Suellentrop allegedly spent 10 minutes driving the wrong way on Topeka highways, nearly colliding with other drivers, early on March 16. He allegedly continued driving and led a Capitol Police officer on a short chase when he tried to arrest him. Police said they used two tactical vehicle interventions to stop Suellentrop's car.

A criminal affidavit released in April alleged that Suellentrop threatened to fight an officer, called him "donut boy" and registered a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit hours after he was arrested early on March 16.

Suellentrop's Republican colleagues in the Senate voted him out of his leadership role in April after court records detailing his alleged conduct were made public.

While Suellentrop remains a member of the Kansas Senate and an active participant in floor votes and committee meetings, he would be barred from public office if convicted of a felony.

Since he was first arrested in March, Suellentrop has said little about the allegations against him other than to apologize that the incident "caused a distraction."

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