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Driver involved in Old Town death appears in court

Brent Warstler hears charges in crash that killed Gresham woman


A Cornelius man accused of driving drunk and killing a 20-year-old Gresham woman made his first appearance in Multnomah County Circuit Court on Tuesday, Jan. 22.

Brent Warstler, 42, was charged with first-degree manslaughter, second-degree assault, driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving and two counts of recklessly endangering another person.

Around 2:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, Warstler ran a red light and collided with a taxi at Northwest Fifth Avenue and Everett Street in Portland. Warstler’s 2012 Dodge Ram pickup truck veered onto the sidewalk, striking two pedestrians, Rebecca Bray and Brandi Butner, who were waiting for a designated driver.

Bray, of Gresham, died at the scene, while Butner, 21, of Fairview, was taken to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center. She was upgraded from serious to fair condition on Tuesday, Jan. 22, but a hospital spokeswoman said she was not ready to speak about the accident.

Warstler was transported to a hospital for minor injuries, along with three of his passengers. Warstler, who was arrested at the hospital, was booked into the Multnomah County Jail.

Warstler, who received a court-appointed attorney, is expected to enter a plea during his next court appearance Wednesday, Jan. 30.

Warstler will be arraigned on a grand-jury indictment after prosecutors present their evidence to a grand jury this week.

Warstler’s friends and family members attended the arraignment but declined to comment.

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