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Robinson seeks change of venue, judge

State Rep. Brad Robinson’s attorney has filed motions for a change of judge and a change of venue.

The change of judge motion will be taken up today during Circuit Court Judge Kenneth W. Pratte’s St. Francois County law day.

Brad Robinson and his wife, Tara, have been charged in connection with the incident where a pedestrian was struck early New Year’s Day.

Brad Robinson has been charged with a Class D felony for leaving the scene of an accident. A Class D felony can carry a sentence of up to four years in prison.

His wife, Tara Robinson, has been charged with a Class B misdemeanor for making a false declaration to police, which can carry a sentence of up to six months in the county jail or a fine of up to $500 or both.

Prosecuting Attorney Wendy Wexler Horn did not file the charges. She handed the case over to a special prosecuting attorney, St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Jack Banas.

The probable cause statement states that when Lt. Chris Thurman and Officer Chad Brown responded to a call for a man lying in the roadway, they saw Donnie Marler being tended to by ambulance personnel.

At the scene, Brown approached two females, one later identified as Tara Robinson, and asked them if they saw what happened. Tara Robinson said she saw the man in the ditch and tried to help him. Brown also found a broken black mirror, which appeared to be from the vehicle that struck Marler.

A half hour after they received the call, Sheriff Dan Bullock called Thurman and asked him to come to Brad Robinson’s home. Brad Robinson had reportedly called the sheriff from the scene and asked him to respond.

At the Robinsons’ home, Tara and Brad Robinson told Thurman that Tara Robinson was driving their truck when it struck something. They said they went back and found the man on the road.

Thurman examined their truck, a black Ford F-150, and observed fresh damage to the truck and its broken mirror.

“Tara Robinson then filled out a written statement, stating that she was driving when she struck something and went back and saw a man laying on the side of the road,” the report states. “On the form (that) Tara wrote her statement is a warning that false statements on this form are punishable by law.”

Other passengers in the vehicle completed written statements at the time that “concurred” with the Robinsons’ statements.

After police watched a North County High School surveillance video, the passengers, who are not being identified by police, were reinterviewed independently. They said Brad Robinson was driving when the truck struck the man on Raider Road. They said Tara Robinson told them to tell police that she was driving and not her husband.

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