RACINE — A Yorkville man was sentenced earlier this week to spend 7 1/2 years behind bars for his 11th drunken driving offense.
Racine County Circuit Judge Allan “Pat” Torhorst on Monday sentenced Bruce T. Henningfield, 52, to the prison term plus five years on extended supervision for driving drunk during the late-night hours of Jan. 21, 2012, into the early morning of Jan. 22, 2012, court records show.
A jury convicted Henningfield on Dec. 19. Prosecutors contended it was his 11th drunken driving offense, but his defense attorney disputed that number.
Assistant State Public Defender Ray Gamez had argued the charge should be changed from “10-plus violations” to “nine or less.” But Assistant District Attorney James Newlun maintained that January 2012 arrest was Henningfield’s 11th drunken driving crime. Torhorst on Monday ruled he had 10 prior drunken driving convictions, court records show.
Jurors convicted Henningfield of operating while intoxicated, resisting an officer and operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration.
His alcohol level was 0.278, according to court records. But as a repeat drunken driver, Henningfield’s legal limit is 0.02. Otherwise, the standard legal limit is 0.08.
Henningfield was arrested after a passerby called police at about 1:10 a.m. Jan. 22, 2012, upon seeing his truck crashed in a ditch along County Highway H near Durand Avenue in Sturtevant. Henningfield was accused of kicking a Sturtevant police officer in the leg, threatening to go to that officer’s home and have sex with his wife and repeatedly calling officers profanities. Henningfield also claimed he was a firefighter, according to his criminal complaint and police reports.
Henningfield testified during his trial that he wasn’t drunk when his truck crashed. But he testified he was later on — when he returned to his truck after walking to a nearby bar.
Henningfield has been in the Racine County Jail since Jan. 22, 2012, according to booking records. As of Thursday he remained jailed there — before, typically, he would be transferred to Dodge Correctional Institution.