Charges Against Man Involved in BUI Fatalities Will Stand

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One of the boats involved in a fatal crash on Lake Winnebago Aug. 18, 2018, is removed from the lake. (WLUK/Chris Schattl)

One of the boats involved in a fatal crash on Lake Winnebago Aug. 18, 2018, is removed from the lake. (WLUK/Chris Schattl)

A Wisconsin judge is refusing to dismiss homicide charges against a man involved in a boat crashed that killed two sisters.

Brian Sullivan, 45, faces two counts of homicide after he was found boating under the influence on Aug. 18, 2018 on Lake Winnebago and crashing with another boat — killing Lauren Laabs, 26, and Cassandra Laabs, 20, according to Fox 11.

Prosecutors charged Sullivan with two counts of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, meaning the state must prove the operator of the vehicle was impaired.

The defense wanted the new counts dismissed, or asked that a preliminary hearing be held. Winnebago County Judge Scott Woldt ruled the new counts are permitted under the law, and denied the motions. Sullivan then entered not guilty pleas to the two new counts.

After the two boats collided, the sisters drowned after being thrown overboard. They were riding in a boat being operated by their father, Kim Laabs. They were not wearing personal floatation devices.

Laabs and Sullivan each say they were hit by the other boat.

Sullivan said he had four beers, and stopped drinking a few hours before the crash. His blood test, taken more than an hour after the crash, showed a blood alcohol level of .093. Laabs' blood test, taken about two hours after the crash, showed a blood alcohol content of .026, according to the complaint.


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