A Union Township man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading
guilty to operating while intoxicated-causing death in connection with a
fatal crash last year in Porter Township, the Porter County Prosecuting
Attorney’s Office said.
Eugene Raber, 48, with a listed address of 319W 600N, was sentenced on
Friday to 15 years in the Indiana Department of Correction (DOC) with three
suspended, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Andrew Bennett told the Chesterton
Raber will serve the three suspended years on formal probation after his
release from DOC.
Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper also suspended Raber’s license for
five years and ordered him to make restitution to his victim’s family while
on probation, in equal monthly installments to be determined by Victim’s
Assistance, Bennett said.
Restitution was ordered for the family’s burial expenses.
Raber agreed in June to plead guilty to the most serious of the charges
against him—OWI-causing death while being 21 or older and with a blood
alcohol content over .15 percent, a Class B felony punishable by a term of
six to 20 years—in a plead-and-argue deal which capped his actual prison
time at 14 years.
Bennett noted that he had sought a maximum sentence under that agreement of
18 years with four suspended.
Under state law, all lesser and included charges against Raber—which
included four Class C felonies and four Class D felonies—were dismissed
after his plea to the most serious charge.
Raber will be eligible for release from DOC after serving half the term, or
According to the Porter County Sheriff’s Police, at 7:50 p.m. May 3, 2009,
Raber was westbound on 350S on a 2001 Suzuki motorcycle, approaching
Porter/Lake County Line Road, when he lost control and struck a guardrail at
Raber and his passenger, Laura Walker, 42, of Portage, were both thrown from
Walker died at the scene, while Raber was treated at Loyola University
Hospital in Chicago for multiple head injuries, a broken collar bone, broken
ribs, and a punctured lung.
Police said that Raber registered a blood alcohol content of .139 serum
value and also tested positive for cocaine and marijuana metabolites.