Local Woman Charged With OWI After Accident In Huntingburg; Theft In Jasper

HUNTINGBURG (NNDC) – Monday was not a good day for a Jasper woman.

Huntingburg police say 50-year old Melinda Eckert of Jasper was charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated Monday night at about 9:30PM after the car police say she was driving struck a steel trash near the Pleasant View Apartments. HPD says officers dispatched to the scene found a 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix parked on the sidewalk and in the grass in front of the apartment complex.

HPD says Eckert stumbled after getting out of the car and her speech was slurrred. HPD says her eyes were “glassy” and she did not realize her car struck a trash bin. She did suffer minor scrapes but was not seriously hurt.

Police say Eckert failed field sobriety tests. A blood draw done later at Memorial Hospital in Jasper showed Eckert was under the influence of marijuana, opiates, benzodiazepines and oxycodone when operating her car at the time of the accident.

Now while at Memorial, Jasper police questioned Eckert about a shoplifting incident at the local Walmart earlier in the evening.

Jasper police officers who were called to the store at 6:40PM. Eckert is alleged to have taken more than $396 worth of clothing items into a restroom before she put them into a bag and left the store without paying for them.

Police say clothing items with price tags still attached to them were found in Eckert’s car.

Police say Eckert confessed to the shoplifting while she was being questioned at Memorial.

Eckert is charged with misdemeanor counts of operating while under the influence of drugs in Huntingburg and theft in Jasper.