Madison man skips court date for OWI-5; warrant issued for arrest

Madison man who skipped court date for OWI-5 faces issued arrest warrant

A Madison resident, who faced charges of driving under the influence in the town of Wheaton in July 2022, missed his hearing this week in Chippewa County Court. Consequently, a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

In July 2022, charges were brought against 39-year-old Kenneth W. Lewis in Chippewa County Court for OWI-6, operating while revoked, as well as possession of narcotic drugs, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia.

After being taken into custody, Lewis was held at the Chippewa County Jail on a $1,000 cash bond. However, this was later reduced to $500, which he was able to post. As a condition of his bond, Lewis is prohibited from consuming drugs or alcohol, and he is not allowed to enter any taverns.

Judge James Isaacson issued a warrant for Lewis’ arrest on Tuesday after he failed to appear for a court hearing. The county is prepared to extradite him if required.

Ryan Raymond, the defense attorney, revealed that he has not been able to get in touch with his client ever since Lewis was released from prison on an unrelated charge.

As per the criminal complaint, on July 4, 2022, at 7:35 p.m., two Chippewa County deputies were dispatched to Highway T, located north of Highway 29, in response to a report of a vehicle stuck in a ditch. Upon arrival, they discovered a male driver, identified as Lewis, waiting for someone to come pick him up outside his vehicle.

Upon running his license information, the officers discovered that Lewis had prior convictions for drunk-driving. They also noted signs of impairment and conducted field sobriety tests which Lewis failed, leading to his arrest. Interestingly, a preliminary breath test indicated that there was no alcohol in his system. To determine if he had any drugs in his system, a blood draw was taken.

After his arrest, Lewis was also accused of refusing to take a test for intoxication. He ultimately entered a no contest plea, but his troubles didn’t end there. Mail sent to him was returned as unclaimed and undeliverable, and as a result, a notice of intent has been filed to revoke his operator’s license.

According to court records, Lewis was found guilty of his fifth OWI in 2013 in Sawyer County Court. Additionally, he was convicted of a felony charge of aggravated battery of an elderly person in Eau Claire County Court in 2020, resulting in a one-year prison sentence. He also served a one-year prison sentence after being convicted of domestic abuse involving strangulation and suffocation in 2017.

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