Hartke Case Continued; No Trial Date Set

MASON HARTKE Photo: Indiana State Police

Photo: Indiana State Police

Bloomfield (NNDC) – A pre-trial conference scheduled Monday in the case of 19-year old Mason Hartke of Jasper was continued.

A trial date for Hartke was expected to be set, but Hartke’s attorney, Samuel Shapiro of Bloomington asked for a continuance of the pre-trial conference which was granted by Greene Superior Court Judge Dena Martin.  Martin did set a new pre-trial conference date of July 24th.

Shaprio has not returned phone calls from NewsNow Dubois County seeking comment on Hartke’s behalf.

Hartke is charged with six Level 5 felony counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death and reckless homicide for the deaths of three members of a Newburgh family back in November.

Killed were 46-year old David Rinehart, his 74-year old mother Ruth Ann Rinehart and his 17-year old daughter Sophie Rinehart.

The family was returning home from Indianapolis from a national marching band contest where Sophie and the Castle High School band had performed.

Sophie’s 18-year old Sister Josie was seriously hurt but survived. Hartke suffered a broken arm.

Indiana State Police say Hartke’s pickup truck crashed into the Rinehart’s disabled car along I-69 just west of the Monroe County line in the early hours of November 13th

ISP says Hartke’s blood alcohol level of was .16% more than two hours after the accident which was at about 3:20am EST.

Police say Hartke had just left Bloomington after a day of partying and drinking at Indiana University.

The Rineharts car had pulled off to the shoulder of southbound I-69 after hitting a deer when Hartke’s truck veered off the highway crashed into it.

Police say both Josie Rinehart and Hartke were trying to crawl out of their vehicles when the first state trooper arrived on scene.

ISP says Hartke’s pickup truck was traveling at least 76 miles and hour at the time of the collision.  Police found no skid marks before the point of impact.

Hartke is free on a $60,000 bond.

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