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OVI conviction for Huron man whose fiancee was decapitated in '92 crash

Emil Whitis • Mar 17, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Twenty years ago, Walter Butkus was charged with driving while intoxicated after surviving a Cedar Point Road wreck in which his fiancée was decapitated.

A glitch in the breathalyzer test had allowed Butkus to avoid drunken driving charges, but he still pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

He served about three years in prison for the death of his fiancée, Heather Kolton, 24, of Twinsburg.

He was released from prison in 1999.

Zip forward to 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, at the intersection of Williams Street and West Cleveland Road in Huron.

Butkus, now 50, was pulled over by Huron police after they noticed the brake lights on his trailer weren’t working, a police report said.

When police told him about the problem, Butkus stumbled out of his 1998 Ford Explorer. Officers smelled alcohol on his breath, the report said.

That was easy to explain, Butkus told police — it was from a prescribed cough syrup he’d been taking.

A breathalyzer test soon revealed his blood-alcohol content was 0.232 percent, well over the legal limit of 0.08 percent, the report said.

At the time, Butkus was already on unsupervised probation from his last drunken driving conviction in 2008, police said.

When Butkus got out of prison in 1999, he went on to land three OVI convictions in Huron Municipal court — one each in 2002, 2004 and 2008.

He was also charged twice with disorderly conduct intoxicated in Sandusky, according to Sandusky Municipal Court records.

Butkus pleaded no contest to this latest OVI charge Friday.

A judge sentenced him to 180 days in jail and fined him $1,000. His license is also suspended for five years.

On Oct. 4, 1992, Butkus crashed his 1987 Chrysler Conquest on Cedar Point Road. Kolton was in the passenger seat when the car veered off the left side of the road and smashed into a telephone pole, according to Register archives. Kolton was beheaded in the collision.

“He still hasn’t got it,” Huron police Chief Bob Lippert said. “He probably never will.”

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