Crash victim's father fighting to keep suspect in jail

Crash victim's father fighting to keep suspect in jail

FAIRVIEW, Ore. – A Fairview father is upset that the suspected drunk driver in a crash that sent his 21-year-old daughter to the hospital and killed her 20-year-old friend could be out of jail before his trial begins.

Bruce Butner told KATU News on Sunday that if his daughter can’t come home, the man accused of putting her in the hospital shouldn’t be allowed to leave jail.

“It’s my baby girl, you know?” Butner said. “It’s hard. I try to give her a hug when I can. Sometimes I get upset and I just sit there and she wants to know if I’m mad.”

Brent Warstler has been in the Multnomah County Jail since he was accused of hitting the two women with his truck in Portland's Old Town last month. Police arrested him for DUII.

Rebecca Bray, 20, died in the Jan. 20 crash. Brandi Butner, 21, was taken to the hospital where she is still recovering from her injuries.

Brandi still can’t stand up by herself or hold her 6-month-old boy in her arms, Butner said.

“Her emotions are just going wild right now,” said Butner. “She has anger. She cries because [she says] ‘dad, how come this happened to me? I did everything right,’ and she did.”

Butner says he brings his grandson to see Brandi every day.

“She wants to come home to her son. She has moments where she cries a lot.”

He said he had to tell his daughter that the driver accused of hitting her last month could be out of jail as early as Monday.

“She was really upset and saying the same thing I’m saying right now. ‘Why does he get to go home and I can’t?’ And of course she breaks down.”

Butner said he will be in court Monday for Warstler’s hearing and will be prepared to give a statement to the judge if it would help keep Warstler will stay behind bars.

The district attorney's office says there are several factors that go into the outcome of a release hearing, including severity of the crime, whether the defendant can post bail and whether the defendant has ties to the area with family or work.

“Unfortunately he’s taken the life of Becky and pretty much destroyed my daughter’s life at this point,” Butner said. “My daughter can’t come home. Becky’s never going to come home again. So you have to think about where the law is to even think about allowing him to get out.”