Brent Warstler, accused of killing Gresham woman, posts bond

A man accused of killing a Gresham woman while driving drunk last month has been released from jail after posting a reduced bond Wednesday, Feb. 13.Brent Warstler

A Multnomah County judge reduced bail for Brent Warstler, 42, of Cornelius, from $297,000 to $50,000 following 30 minutes of testimony during a hearing Monday, Feb. 11.

Warstler posted the $5,000 bond — all the money he had in savings, his attorney said — and will remain under house arrest, living with family in Gresham until his trial begins Thursday, March 14.

Judge Alicia A. Fuchs ordered Warstler to wear an ankle bracelet that detects even the smallest trace of alcohol, and he will report to a supervisor at the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office pretrial release program.

Warstler also is required to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and is prohibited from driving without court permission.

A grand jury indicted him on 19 charges, which included second-degree manslaughter, third-degree assault, reckless driving and a misdemeanor for driving under the influence of intoxicants. Warstler also was charged with eight counts of recklessly endangering another person, six counts of fourth-degree assault and one count of second-degree criminal mischief.

Warstler allegedly ran a red light in Portland’s Old Town area around 2:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 20. His 2012 Dodge Ram pickup collided with a taxi and veered onto the sidewalk, striking Rebecca Bray, 20, and Brandi Butner, 21.

Bray died at the scene, while Butner, of Fairview, was transported to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center. The two women were downtown celebrating Butner’s 21st birthday.

Butner is in a rehab center after suffering severe pelvic injuries. She has an infant son whom her parents are caring for.

During Monday’s hearing, Deputy District Attorney Susan Howard argued to have Warstler held in jail until his trial. She said he was traveling twice the speed limit in the 20-mph zone and that he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.20 — more than twice the legal limit — one hour after the crash.

Brandi’s father, Bruce Butner, also testified at the hearing.

“What (Warstler) did is inexcusable,” he said.

But the judge still reduced the bail, saying her decision could not be based on emotions, but only legal rights.

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