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Arrest happened back in June but it hasn’t been reported until November.
POCAHONTAS, Ark. – The Randolph County Tax Collector is battling a DWI charge out of Oregon County, Missouri that has somehow not been reported by local media before now.
Jennifer Marie Zitzelberger, 43, was charged with the DWI allegation back on June 1, 2019. She also was charged with failing to signal, which was what began the traffic stop. Missouri State Highway Patrol pulled her over after observing the alleged infraction near Myrtle, Missouri. When the officer spoke to her, he smelled alcohol, he noticed her eyes were glossed over, and she said she had drank “probably two or three beers,” the probable cause affidavit said.
She blew a .080 at the stop. A field sobriety test showed multiple signs of impairment, leading to her arrest. Later, her BAC test was found to be .113 percent.
Zitzelberger, who was first elected as Randolph County’s tax collector in 2018, is fighting the case and has pleaded not guilty. She has retained Daniel Thomas Moore of Popular Bluff for legal counsel. Prosecutor Justin Kelley is trying the case for the state.
The case has been delayed until December 4, 2019, after Zitzelberger made a motion for a continuance this week in court. Her appearance will be required during the next court date.
She also filed a motion for a change of judge in the case this week, too. The request for assignment was sustained and sent to a presiding circuit judge.
The first report appears to have been buried on page 2 within this week’s edition of the local Pocahontas newspaper, The Star Herald, five months after the arrest. The newspaper did not publish the story online or on its front page this week as it did some other content, such as a black man’s arrest for an alleged gas station robbery and their top story: kids going to trick or treat. The struggling small-town newspaper has no history of pressing journalism but has a rich history of protecting local officials in scenarios like this.
NEA Report will track this story and update our readers with new developments.