Woman Charged in Motorcyclist’s Death Held on $350K Cash
McSherry had blood alcohol content more than three times the legal limit
By Jacob Mathias
A Tigerton woman who allegedly killed a motorcyclist while driving drunk in early July could face over 100 years in prison.
Billie Jo McSherry, 29, made her initial appearance in Portage Co. Circuit Court via video on Monday, when she was formally charged with a slew of charges related to the death of Antigo resident Robert Korhonen, 48, and severe injuries sustained by his 25-year-old female passenger.
McSherry was driving a Buick sedan eastbound on Hwy. 49 in the Town of Alban on July 8 when, according to investigators, she crossed the center-line on a curve, striking the motorcycle head-on. Korhonen was reportedly thrown 20 feet in the air, according to witnesses, and was pronounced dead at the scene.
His 25-year-old passenger, Stacey Zarda, also from Antigo, was also thrown from motorcycle. According to the complaint, she sustained a shattered pelvis, multiple bone fractures, head trauma and brain damage; injuries which reportedly left the woman in a comatose state.
The motorcycle was struck with such force it was left in pieces, according to the complaint.
Witnesses told deputies that McSherry appeared intoxicated and repeatedly said, “I didn’t mean to do it,” and “Oh my God, I killed two people.”
McSherry was still in her vehicle with her nine-year-old daughter when deputies arrived. The girl was treated at a local hospital for minor injuries and later released.
When questioned, McSherry said she was driving home but couldn’t remember where she was coming from. She admitted to consuming alcohol prior to driving, but refused a breathalyzer test. A blood test later confirmed she had a .30 blood alcohol level — more than three times the legal limit.
Following the blood draw at the hospital, McSherry became violent, the complaint said, and tried leaving the examination room. She then kicked and spat at deputies, and began screaming and swearing loudly. After being fitted with an oxygen mask so she couldn’t spit on the deputies, she attempted to bite a hospital staffer.
McSherry is facing two counts of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, two counts of injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle, OWI causing injury of a child, battery to an emergency rescue worker, battery and obstruction of an officer.
McSherry was ordered held on a $350,000 cash bond. She returned to court Aug. 7 at 3 PM.