Boone County – On today’s date, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction of Ryan Scott Early, 36 obtained in December of 2022. Early was convicted of the following 6 counts:
• Count I: Causing Catastrophic Injury When Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated, a Level 4 Felony
• Count II: Causing Catastrophic Injury When Operating a Vehicle with an ACE of .08 or More, a Level 4 Felony
• Count Ill: Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated Endangering a Person, a Class A Misdemeanor
• Count IV: Operating a Vehicle with an ACE of .08 or More, a Class C Misdemeanor
• Count V: Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated, a Class C Misdemeanor
• Count VI: Public Intoxication, a Class B Misdemeanor
following a contested bench trial in front of Boone Superior Court II Judge Brue Petit.
The charges stem from acts by Early on October 18, 2020, in the Whitestown area of Boone County. Evidence established that Early was operating a Toyota Tacoma truck on East County Road 400 South and that Early’s vehicle completely crossed over a double yellow line into the on-coming lane of traffic (while attempting to pass a vehicle) and hit a Honda Accord head on. The driver of the Honda Accord suffered significant injuries that has left her a quadriplegic requiring assistance for all self-care activities and mobility.
The Court of Appeals concluded “that evidence of probative value exists from which the trier of fact could have found Early guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of causing catastrophic injury when operating a vehicle while intoxicated as a level 4 felony.”