Police told Fox59 he was convicted of a misdemeanor charge of Driving While Intoxicated in 1998. A felony DWI conviction came one year later. Five years later, a felony conviction for assisting a criminal. In 2006, Karwatka was hit with felony number three for carrying a handgun without a license. He also had another DWI and just two years ago a felony DUI.If Karwatka's name sounds familiar, it's because he was the person found to be aiding and abetting a fugitive Noblesville doctor who faked his own death.and then hid out at Karwatka's home on the east side of Indianapolis for months before police finally found him. Dr. Thomas Hoshour, who employed Karwatka, had been charged with fraudulently billing insurance companies before he disappeared after faking his death by leaving behind a suicide note. Police months later traced cell phone calls made by Hoshour to Karwatka's home where the fugitive doctor was hiding out. Perhaps Leerkamp can offer some rational explanation for why her office didn't insist on locking up Karwatka the last time he appeared in Hamilton Co. court given all of his prior OWI convictions.
"That's crazy so I guess I understand why he didn't stop," witness Paris Love said. "Oh my goodness."
"He shouldn't have been out at all," she said.
Attorney John Thompkins explained how Karwatka was still free and who, if anyone dropped the ball.
"The question is not what the judge did but what was in front of the judge, presented by the prosecutor in terms of habitual enhancements and whether or not they were filed," Thompkins said.
A message left for Hamilton County Prosecutor Sonia Leerkamp was not returned Tuesday.
Karwatka was a wanted man before the crash.
Hamilton County issued a warrant on charges of being a habitual traffic violator and operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
Fox59 News was told he was a no show for his last scheduled court appearance.
"If he was out on a D felony OWI, failure to appear, there are literally thousands of warrants and the sheriff'ss department has to prioritize which ones they are going to serve," Thompkins said.
There was also the five year rule to consider.
A first OWI will likely be a misdemeanor, if another happens within five years, that's a felony but if a third happens after a five year period, it's back to just a misdemeanor.
"It sounds like he had good representation at the sentencing hearings," Thompkins said.
Karwatka faces preliminary charges of Failure to Stop After an Accident Resulting in Injury and Operating as a Habitual Traffic Violator. Karwatka was also wanted on an outstanding warrant out of Hamilton County on charges of being a Habitual Traffic Violator and Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated.
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
Whoops, She Did It Again
action inaction of Sonia Leerkamp in the the case of 49-year-old habitual traffic offender Edward Karwatka leaves criminal defense lawyers scratching their heads. Karwatka is the man who was arrested for crushing a 33-year-old mother between his car and her car on New Year's Day and then fleeing the scene, leaving Tabetha Lynn in critical condition. Fox59 News explains his sordid driving and criminal past and outstanding warrant that begs the question of why he was a free man: