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Man pleads not guilty in boating accident

A Jefferson City man accused of causing a fatal boating accident on the Osage River in September pleaded not guilty to charges in the case.

Christopher Winkler, 33, of 4023 Oxford Road, was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter and three counts of second-degree assault.

During a court proceeding Wednesday in Osage County, Winkler’s request for a change of venue was also granted and the case will now be heard in Gasconade County.

According to a probable cause statement from the Missouri Highway Patrol’s water division, Winkler operated a boat at 11:50 p.m. Sept. 3 on the Osage River near Bonnots Mill. He struck two anchored boats, which had all of the required navigational lights on before the collision.

As a result of the collision, Alvin T. Blackford, 46, Russellville, and Curtis Libbert, 33, Tebbetts, died from their injuries.

Three other passengers on Blackford’s boat were injured. Mindy S. Campbell, 28, Ashland, suffered moderate injuries, while Robert E. Schoebinger, 26, Linn, and Sean J. Veit, 39, Lohman, suffered serious injuries.

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