Man pleads innocent to 6th drunken driving charge

Associated Press

SEATTLE – An Issaquah man with five drunk driving convictions has pleaded innocent to a charge of vehicular assault in an alleged drunken driving accident that left a church pianist confined to a wheelchair.

David P. Morgan, 29, also pleaded innocent in King County Superior Court on Wednesday to a charge of first-degree driving with a revoked license. He has nine previous convictions for driving with a revoked or suspended license.

He was being held on $500,000 bail.

According to court documents, the accident occurred after Morgan left a tavern in North Bend around 2 a.m. on Sept. 8, crossed the center line on a rural road and collided with a car driven by Patricia Swindal, 47, of Renton.

Morgan’s blood-alcohol content was recorded as .25 at the time of the accident, court documents say. The legal limit is .08.

Swindal is a pianist and has worked as a pastoral assistant and choir director at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Issaquah.

Her injuries have prevented her from returning to her job, said her attorney, Steven Robinson. Her medical bills total more than $100,000, he said.

Robinson said Morgan had no auto insurance. A civil suit likely would not help Swindal, he said, because Morgan, who lived with his parents and worked as a fence-installer, has no assets.

If convicted, Morgan could serve up to 3 1/2years in prison.

Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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