Parole considered for driver in fatal wreck

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A man is being considered for parole months after receiving a five-year prison sentence for causing a fatal wreck after smoking synthetic marijuana, according to the Missouri Department of Corrections.

Keith Buehler, 19, of Ste. Genevieve was sentenced in April after pleading guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter and synthetic drug possession. Investigators with the Missouri Highway Patrol said Buehler was driving between 81 to 90 mph in a 55-mph zone in June 2012 when he ran a stoplight. His pickup truck hit a car, killing Raymond McLean, 75, and his wife, Carolyn McLean, 70, of Festus.

The Missouri Department of Corrections said Buehler had a parole board hearing on Wednesday in Jefferson City. The earliest Buehler can be released is November 2015 and it will take several weeks for the board to rule whether he should be granted parole. Parole board hearings are not open to the public.

The McLeans’ daughter, Robin Miles-McLean, provided a statement to the newspaper that she read before the board on behalf of herself and sister Donna McLean. They asked the board to keep Buehler behind bars.

“The need to punish his choices is of paramount importance in the message it sends to others in Jefferson County who may be inclined to make similarly reckless choices,” the statement said.

Authorities said Buehler was smoking synthetic marijuana before the accident.

Court records show Buehler was involved in four traffic accidents in little more than a year, one before the fatal wreck and two after he was charged in the couple’s death.

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