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Judge denies motions of man charged with DUI manslaughter


Circuit Court Judge Daniel Vaughn has denied all motions filed by a man charged with DUI manslaughter, including his request to have his alcohol and GPS monitoring bracelets removed and house arrest lifted while he awaits a trial date.

At a contentious Feb. 20 hearing in a packed courtroom, Edward Ray Wheeler, 65, of Sebastian, claimed he needed to take up to 12 medications, most of which contained alcohol, to treat unspecified health problems. He also told Vaughn the alcohol monitoring bracelet he is required to wear costs $250 a month, an expense he said was causing “financial hardship” for his family.

Angry, emotional family members of the two people Wheeler is accused of killing while driving drunk begged the judge not to grant Wheeler’s requests.

In his decision, Vaughn noted the restrictions placed on Wheeler, including house arrest, were part of the bond conditions he had agreed to. Vaughn said Wheeler failed to present any documented evidence to back up his medical requests.

Vaughn also rejected Wheeler’s request for a restraining order that would have prevented family and friends of Lawrence C. Rubino and Teresa G. Calhoun from attending future hearings. Wheeler alleged he had been verbally and physically threatened by Rubino and Calhoun family members, that their presence in the courtroom was intimidating, and that their “animosity” towards him was “overwhelming.”

In his written decision, Vaughn noted that Wheeler had not reported anything to law enforcement or court security when the alleged threats occurred. Vaughn also pointed out that a court hearing is required before an injunction that would keep the victims’ family members and friends out of court can be considered.

Wheeler is charged with two counts of DUI manslaughter.

According to the Sebastian Police Department, he had a blood-alcohol level of .29, more than three times the legal limit, when he crashed his sports utility vehicle into a motorcycle carrying 67-year-old motorcycle driverĀ  Rubino and 69-year-old passenger Calhoun, both of Sebastian. Rubino and Calhoun were both killed. The fatal incident occurred on Sept. 13.