A teenager, with a brand-new driver’s license, dead in a violent collision at a red light. A man unconscious with a bruised lung. And a Wolcottville man with a bullet hole in his neck.
That is some of the damage done by Jeremy D. Washington, according to court documents, after a drunken fight and flight in the early morning hours Saturday.
Now the 35-year-old New Haven man faces eight preliminary charges – including aggravated battery and reckless homicide – after an argument at the Corner Pocket Pub escalated far beyond the parking lot, enveloping the family of a high school student who happened to be out for a drive.
According to court documents filed Monday, Washington and Chad Jackson, of Wolcottville, got into an argument at the Corner Pocket Pub, a pool hall at 3215 St. Joe Center Road.
Jackson was there with two other men, and Washington was with Clayton DeLong. According to court documents, Washington and Jackson began to argue, eventually being asked to leave by security. When Jackson and his friends went to leave the parking lot, they found Washington blocking the way out, according to court documents.
More words were exchanged, and Washington pulled out a gun and began firing into an SUV in which Jackson was riding. Glass shattered, and Jackson told the other men in the car he’d been shot. As they drove him to a hospital with a bullet wound to his neck, Washington took off at a high rate of speed, according to court documents.
He made it about 3 miles down the road and then barreled through a red light, smashing his 2011 Infinity into the side door of a 2004 Toyota driven by 17-year-old Haley Nellum. The force of the crash was so significant, it sent the Toyota south on Hobson Road and caused it to flip over, according to court documents.
Nellum was a sophomore at Bishop Dwenger High School and a member of the girl’s varsity basketball team. She was on her way from a friend’s home and died at the scene of the crash, about a half-mile from her house.
DeLong, a passenger in Washington’s car, was knocked out cold by the crash and suffered a bruised lung and cut to his head, according to court documents.
Washington told police he had to drive fast because he was in an argument in which someone had fired a gun at him. He told police he retrieved his own gun, a .45-caliber Sig Sauer Nightmare, and fired shots at the other car as well. But investigators believe Washington’s statements were made merely to justify why he was driving that way, according to court documents.
Doctors removed the bullet from Jackson’s neck, which they said just missed his main arteries, according to court documents.
According to court documents, Washington’s blood-alcohol level was 0.15 percent when he was examined at the hospital, nearly two times Indiana’s legal limit of 0.08 percent.
In addition to reckless homicide and aggravated battery, Washington is preliminarily charged with two counts of criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon causing serious bodily injury, criminal recklessness, two counts of criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon, and two counts of causing death while operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
Washington remains in the Allen County Jail on bail of $130,000. Prosecutors have not yet filed formal charges against him.