UPDATE: Evidence of former bishop's drinking remains in case - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Evidence of former bishop's drinking remains in case


MADISON (WKOW) -- A Dane County judge Monday ruled evidence of a former Lutheran Bishop's drinking before his SUV hit and killed a jogger in Sun Prairie will be available to a jury.

An attorney for 60-year old Bruce Burnside argued Wisconsin's law involving drivers giving implied consent to a chemical test if suspected of being impaired is unconstitutional, because there's coercion, with penalties if there's no consent.

But Judge Nicholas McNamara said a driver's license is a privilege, not a constitutional right, and drivers agree to the consent issue at the time of the receipt of a driver's license.

Authorities say Burnside hit and killed 52-year old Maureen Mengelt April 7, and was later found to have a blood alcohol level of .12, more than Wisconsin's .08 legal limit.

Officials say Burnside drove off after hitting Mengelt on the way to a church function, but was boxed in by other motorists at a nearby gas station.

Burnside resigned as bishop after the collision and his arrest.

Burnside remains free on a signature bond, with trial scheduled in March 2014. Burnside faces homicide by drunken driving, hit and run, and other felony charges.

Mengelt's widower, Kevin Mengelt told madison.com he's frustrated, and his family's grief is heightened, as Burnside's trial will not take place until nearly a year after his wife was killed, and labeled some of the defense's legal actions in the case as stalling.


SUN PRAIRIE (WKOW)-- A former Bishop accused of hitting and killing a woman in Sun Prairie while drunk driving is scheduled to be in court Monday.

Authorities say 60-year-old Bruce Burnside hit Maureen Mengelt with his car as she ran along Windsor Street in April. They also say he had a blood alcohol level of .12.

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