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ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – After a Monday afternoon appearance in Hawkins County General Sessions Court, Don Wells, father of missing Rogersville child Summer Wells, is now serving time in the Hawkins County Jail in connection to an October DUI arrest.
During his 1 p.m. appearance, Wells pleaded guilty to his Driving Under the Influence charge, and the state dropped all other charges from his Oct. 30 arrest. While in court, Wells claimed a toxicology screen from the night of the arrest returned without evidence of drugs. Wells also said a blood alcohol screening taken that night returned with a level of 0.13%.
Wells said in court that this was his first DUI, to which the judge agreed. The mandatory minimum sentence for that charge is 48 hours in jail, 88 hours of community service, one year of a revoked license, and a $350 fine. However, since Wells’ arrest was a violation of his probation related to a previous possession of a handgun while intoxicated charge, he must serve the remainder of his time of 11 months and 29 days at the Hawkins County Jail. Wells was taken directly from the Hawkins County Courthouse to the Hawkins County Jail that same afternoon.
Wells passed a note in court to News Channel 11’s Bianca Marais, which read, “Thanks to everyone for all positive support. It’s been very difficult.”
Wells may not have to serve the full time, as he may be eligible for probation again after 180 days and the completion of an alcohol rehabilitation program.
While in court, Wells told General Sessions Judge Todd Ross that he “wanted to get away” as he and Bly were arguing, to which Judge Ross responded, “that’s what feet are for.”
Wells also told Judge Ross that he and Bly were taking classes to regain custody of their sons and that he still worked a full-time job at the time.
A handful of protesters appeared at the courthouse in relation to Summer Wells’ disappearance. Nothing in the appearance was related to Summer, and to date, no charges have been filed against any person in relation to her disappearance.
According to an affidavit filed with Hawkins County, Wells was allegedly found in a White GMC Sonoma on Van Hill Road after the vehicle failed to navigate a left-hand turn and drove into the shoulder.
Officers say they observed a bottle of what looked like alcohol in the passenger seat of the car, and the affidavit says they smelled alcohol. In speaking with Wells, officers say his eyes were bloodshot.
Wells told officers that he had taken a “couple shots” of alcohol, the affidavit states, and that he had taken the bottle seen by officers from his wife, Candus Bly, because of an argument. The affidavit states that the bottle was half empty at the time.
Officers then performed a field sobriety test with Wells, and the affidavit states that while officers observed no Nystagmus, an eye condition that can appear when someone is under the influence of alcohol, while Wells was at rest, they did observe “distinct and sustained” symptoms in both eyes at maximum deviation when Wells’ eyes were completely to the side.
Wells was also asked to complete a heel-to-toe walk and turn test, and officers say he missed his toe five times, stepped off the line multiple times, and used his arms to balance. During a one-leg stand, officers say Wells dropped his foot to the ground twice, swayed and bent his knee for balance.
The affidavit says that while arresting officers read Wells his rights, he stated that he “probably had too much to drink” and told officers he would fail a blood draw test after they advised him what legal blood alcohol limits were.
This is a developing story, stay tuned online and on-air for updates.