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Trial set for man charged with hitting joggers

Posted: October 8, 2013 - 10:07pm

A Soldotna man charged with multiple counts of felony assault after the state alleges he hit two joggers with his vehicle while under the influence of drugs is scheduled to begin Trial in Superior Court Wednesday morning at Kenai Courthouse.

Jeromy F. Hurlburt, 38, faces two counts of third-degree assault, two counts of first-degree assault, refusal to submit to a chemical test and one misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence.

Assistant Public Advocate Lyle Stohler represents Hurlburt, and Assistant District Attorney Amanda Browning will be the prosecutor in the trial. Superior Court Judge Carl Bauman will preside over the trial.

In a status hearing before Superior Court Judge Anna Moran on Tuesday, both parties confirmed they were ready for the trial. Hurlburt did not speak at the hearing.

The charges against Hurlburt are the result of an incident on the evening of March 21, 2012. According to court records, Hurlburt was driving south in his red 1986 Audi 5000 on Kalifornsky Beach Road when he crossed into opposing lanes, onto Centennial Park Road and then onto the bike path where he struck two joggers.

Witnesses said the car was traveling about 45 to 50 miles per hour, and the women were thrown over the hood when struck, according to court documents. Joan Miller, 63, and her 46-year-old daughter Melanie Papp, both of Soldotna, were transported and treated at Central Peninsula Hospital.

Hurlburt said he heard something break under his vehicle, which caused him to veer across the road. He also said he tried to warn the women by honking his horn. Police reported they were unable to find any broken parts, according to records.

Hurlburt refused to provide a blood sample, according to court records, but was found to be under the influence of drugs after he performed poorly in a field sobriety test. He was taken to CPH where a sample of his blood was drawn.

Law enforcement knew Hurlburt to be a methamphetamine user, according to court reports, and Hurlburt admitted to smoking marijuana and consuming meth days before the incident.

He is in custody at Wildwood Pretrial Facility.

Kaylee Osowski can be reached at kaylee.osowski@peninsulaclarion.com.

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