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DUI suspect waives right to hearing

Apr. 08, 2013 @ 11:30 PM

HUNTINGTON -- Michael Couch and his attorney agreed to waive his right to a preliminary hearing Monday.

The 43-year-old is charged with driving under the influence causing death, a felony related to a vehicle crash that killed Deborah Lynn Rakes of Kenova. The accident occurred about 1 p.m. March 17 on 5th Street Hill in Huntington.

Defense attorney John Laishley has said his office will work to make sure Couch's rights are protected. The suspect's wife defended her husband's character last week and said he had not been drinking at the time of the crash.

The arrest warrant states an on-scene paramedic noticed Couch's breath smelled of alcohol and told police he appeared intoxicated. It further states the medic asked Couch how much he had to drink, to which he replied "a couple."

Information about Couch's blood-alcohol content has not been disclosed.

State records indicate Couch hasn't had a valid driver's license since July 30, 1996. This month's crash marked his fifth drunken driving arrest since late 1997, four of which stemmed from vehicle accidents.

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