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Repeat DWI offender charged for deadly crash, minor crash minutes earlier

Police said Richard Nicely Jr. admitted drinking vodka before getting behind the wheel of the car involved in both crashes
Credit: Jefferson County Sheriff's Department
Richard Nicely Jr. was charged with DWI and multiple other crimes in connection with a pair of crashes in Jefferson County.

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. — A man who has pleaded guilty to at least four DWI charges in the last 15 years was charged with DWI and second-degree murder after a deadly crash late last year.

Richard Nicely Jr., 33, was charged with five crimes including murder and chronic DWI in connection with the Nov. 29 crash that killed 88-year-old Paul Scaglione.

According to charging documents, Nicely was driving his 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan north on Missouri Route B in Jefferson County at around noon. The charging documents said a car also going north was trying to turn from Route B onto Route EE when Nicely hit their car.

Two people who saw that crash followed Nicely's car as he fled the scene. They stayed behind him until he pulled off the road to check the damage of his car. 

The two people got the information on Nicely's car then returned to the crash scene to give it to the victims.

Then, less than 10 minutes after the first crash, Nicely was behind the wheel again when he crossed the center line and crashed head-on with a 1996 Chrysler Concorde with Paul Scaglione and a then-87-year-old woman inside. Scaglione later died at the hospital while Nicely and the woman were treated for serious injuries.

Police talked to Nicely at the hospital, where he admitted to driving the car in both of the crashes. Police said he smelled of alcohol, had bloodshot eyes and slurred his speech. He told police he had been drinking vodka, and when they searched his car, they found two 1.5-liter bottles. One of the bottles was empty and the other was more than half empty.

He was charged on Feb. 25 with second-degree murder, DWI causing a death, DWI causing serious injuries, chronic DWI and leaving the scene of a crash. He was denied bond but has not been taken into custody. The mugshot in this story is from a previous arrest.

Nicely has pleaded guilty to DWI charges at least four times previously, charging documents said. The first came after an arrest on April 13, 2005, when he was 18 years old.

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