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Merrill gets 16 years for AuBuchon deaths

The man charged in connection with the deaths of Pete and Sue AuBuchon was recently sentenced to a total of 16 years in prison.

This month, Jason M. Merrill, 21, of Wappapello, was sentenced to nine years in prison for two counts of manslaughter due to recklessness.

Also, his 2005 probation for burglary was revoked and he was sentenced to an additional seven years in prison.

According to court records, last July, Merrill was under the influence of drugs when he collided with the motorcycle, causing the deaths of Pete and Susan AuBuchon and injuring at least one of his passengers.

The AuBuchons were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Merrill and passenger, Jessica Hendry, 20, of Dudley, suffered serious injuries in the crash and were taken to area hospitals.

Susan AuBuchon was very active in the Bonne Terre community and was a member of the Bonne Terre Chamber of Commerce.

In January, she was named the recipient of the Chamber’s Lifetime Hall of Fame Award. A bench in front of the Chamber office has been named in their honor by First State Community Bank.

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