Man gets new trial on 13th OWI case

File photo. (WLUK)

An Outagamie County man will receive a new trial on a drunk driving conviction because a defense witness verbally and physically confronted a juror outside the courtroom prior to deliberations.

Gerald Blasczyk's attorney objected at the time but the judge did not dismiss the juror. In a decision Tuesday, the appeals court reversed the ruling an ordered a new trial.

"We agree with Blasczyk that the encounter caused prejudicial extraneous information to be brought to the jury's attention.  We therefore reverse and remand for a new trial on the OWI charge," the court wrote.

According to the criminal complaint, Blasczyk was arrested after running his jeep off the road and passing out in his vehicle. He was convicted of his 13th drunk driving offense. He was originally sentenced to 7.5 years in prison for the conviction.