Sutherland Man Accused Of Driving Drunk, Causing Fatal Accident Pleads Not Guilty

Primghar, Iowa — A Sutherland man who is accused of driving drunk and causing a crash that caused the death of a Primghar man a little over a year ago has entered a plea in the case.

The crash occurred late on the afternoon of October 6th, 2019, at the intersection of 380th Street and Roosevelt Avenue, northwest of Primghar. Authorities say 61-year-old Jerome Schueller of Primghar was westbound on 380th Street in a Polaris 900 side-by-side ATV. According to the Iowa State Patrol, Schueller’s ATV was broadsided by a northbound 1999 Chevy Blazer, driven by 40-year-old Joshua Mahler of Sutherland. Both vehicles then came to rest in the ditch and were engulfed by fire.

Schueller, along with his 6 and 8-year-old grandsons, were taken to Sanford Sheldon Medical Center, where Schueller succumbed to his injuries.

According to O’Brien County Attorney Rachel Becker, a thorough investigation into the collision and circumstances surrounding the crash was conducted by the Iowa State Patrol. As a result of that investigation, Becker says charges were filed against Mahler, accusing him of Operating While Intoxicated, Defective Brakes, and No Insurance.


The case has been postponed — or “continued” in legal jargon — several times. Court records indicate Mahler entered a written plea of “not guilty” on Tuesday. There is no guarantee that the events scheduled by the court will take place on the dates on which they were scheduled, but at this point, a pre-trial conference is set for December 10th, and the trial in the case is set for January 12th, 2021.

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