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Mukwonago man enters no contest plea for fatal snowmobile crash

Waukesha – A 22-year-old Town of Mukwonago man entered a no contest plea this morning for the death of a Town of Vernon girl, who suffered fatal injuries from a snowmobile crash Dec. 23.

Wayne A. Barkley entered the plea to a felony charge of homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle. He also entered a no contest plea to a felony bail jumping filed in November for violating conditions of his bail. Barkley will be sentenced March 4 by Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge William Domina.

Waukesha County Assistant District Attorney Michele Hulgaard said the state would recommend a sentence of five years in prison and five years of extended supervision for the homicide charge and three years of prison and three years of extended supervision for the bail jumping charge.

Barkley was driving a snowmobile on Phantom Lake in the Town of Mukwonago when his passenger Chelsey Lobenhofer fell of the sled and her head hit a vehicle that was on the lake. She died Dec. 26. Barkley was racing another snowmobile and as it approached the vehicle, a witness told police Barkley turned his sled at "the last minute and turned hard to avoid it, causing the snowmobile to roll over," the criminal complaint said.

A preliminary breath test showed Barkley had an alcohol concentration of 0.012, which is below the legal limit. A level of 0.08 is considered evidence of intoxication in adult drivers in Wisconsin. Barkley also agreed to an evidentiary chemical test of his blood, which showed positive for marijuana.

Barkley had been charged with one count of homicide by vehicle – use of a controlled substance, but in a plea agreement with prosecutors, the charge was amended.

In June 15 he was charged with resisting officers and damaging lawns in his Town of Mukwonago neighborhood. Those charges were dismissed as part of the plea agreement. Charges of possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia have not been dismissed.

Domina revoked Barkley’s bail and he was taken into custody by the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department following the hearing.

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