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A 26-year-old Mercedes man who had been accused of driving drunk and killing a 47-year-old man in a Weslaco crash has instead been indicted on a charge of manslaughter.
Clayton Wayne Neuhaus had initially been charged with intoxication manslaughter for the Sept. 29, 2022 crash that killed Jose Luis Martinez as he left Franky Flav’z.
He was indicted on Nov. 2.
The crash happened at approximately 11:26 p.m. that day in the 1300 block of South International Boulevard.
After the crash, Neuhaus told police that he had only had a glass of wine to drink prior to the crash, according to a probable cause affidavit.
A responding officer reported finding a white Ford Raptor with heavy front-end damage and a red Ford Focus farther down the road that had heavy damage to the driver’s side door.
“Jose Luis Martinez was seated in the driver seat, and the skin from his face was hanging to the side of his head,” the affidavit stated.
In a news release at the time, Weslaco police said Martinez had been trying to turn north onto International Boulevard when Neuhaus crashed into him. That release also said police found no visible signs or road marks that would show Neuhaus tried to brake before impact.
Witnesses at the scene claimed Neuhaus stumbled out of his vehicle and appeared intoxicated. Police alleged Neuhaus had bloodshot eyes and spoke with slurred speech, according to the affidavit.
Police also said he failed a field sobriety test but did consent to a voluntary blood draw.
The indictment against Neuhaus does allege that he was under the influence of alcohol when he failed to keep a proper lookout while speeding before hitting and killing Martinez.
Neuhaus, who is a member of the family that owns the private border wall in Mission, bailed out of jail on Oct. 1, 2022 on a $75,000 bond.
He is scheduled to be arraigned in early December.