First court appearance for wrong-way driver after fatal crash

An accused wrong-way driver charged with hitting and killing a military veteran made his first court appearance on Wednesday since the crash last month. Bond conditions for John Walker McClintock were increased-- but not the amount which has allowed him to remain free.

With his family and attorney by his side, John McClintock walked out of the Williamson County Courthouse still a free man.

"He is not going to make a statement today, we are sure when the evidence comes out that we will, as tragic as everything is, he is not guilty of the crime,” said Attorney James McDermott.

The case dates back to Nov. 11. Security camera video recorded that morning shows police trying to stop a car, believed to be driven by McClintock, as it traveled 14 miles up I-35 the wrong way. The car stopped only after crashing into a motorcycle ridden by Domonick Turner, an Army veteran who survived two tours in Afghanistan. His mother, Sharon Turner, spoke to FOX 7 shortly after the incident. She lives in North Carolina.

Sharon was not able to attend McClintock's first court appearance but talked by phone Wednesday after the hearing.

"It’s almost been a month and I still can’t even leave my house,” Sharon said.

Domonick's family remains upset that McClintock, who was charge with Intoxication Manslaughter, got out of jail on a low bond rate. He was freed before the crash scene was even cleared. As a condition of his bond, he can also drive as long as he uses a vehicle with an ignition interlock system.

"It’s almost like Texas is allowing people to drink and then kill other people's children,” Sharon said.

On Wednesday, the bond amount did not change but a new condition was added: McClintock has to wear an alcohol detection device on his ankle. It’s not enough for Domonick’s mother. "No, because next week it may be his neighbor's child, it may be his sister's children, we don’t know, he should not be allowed to drive," she said.

The original bond conditions were set by Associate Magistrate Alexandra Gauthier. She was appointed to the job and has been in the news before. Gauthier was the attorney for Robert Springsteen, who had his conviction in the infamous Yogurt Shop Murders overturned. Gauthier did not respond to FOX7’s request for comment.

A Williamson County Grand Jury has already started reviewing this case. FOX 7 is told an indictment is expected as early as next week. At that time, the D.A. is expected to ask for a new and higher bond to be set.

"The main issue that we wanted to focus on is monitoring, the fact that he's got an alcohol monitoring device on, if he is drinking we'll know about it, if he is driving we will know about it, if he is operating his car without an interlock device on it that's a violation of his bond and can land him back in jail,” said First Assistant District Attorney Mark Brunner.

For now, John McClintock will remain free and behind the wheel.

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