Neenah man sentenced in drunk driving deaths

Posted at 9:44 PM, Aug 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-08 23:23:28-04

A Neenah man, convicted of killing two people in a drunk driving crash, is sentenced to 20 years behind bars. 

The crash wasn't 57-year-old Joseph Konetzke's first OWI. 

He had a separate OWI case from earlier in the month.

Last December, according to court documents, Joseph Konetzke drank enough so that his blood alcohol content was three times the legal limit. 
He then got behind the wheel, ran a stop sign on Hwy 54 in Outagamie County and ended up killing two people.

Tears in court poured from the families of 83-year-old Hazel Dewitt and 82-year-old David Rosol as Joseph Konetzke awaited his fate. 

"To have someone you know die is one thing. To have them go so suddenly and so tragically is something completely different," said family member Rachel Jones. 

Loved ones say their lives are forever changed. 

"My normal is nervous, angry, sad, disgusted, hurt, short-tempered and broken," said family member Donna Johnson.  

"I pray to god everyday asking god to give your family strength and to help you through your sorrow and pain, also asking him why he did not take me instead. I've never intentionally tried to hurt anyone in my life," said Konetzke. 

But Judge Mark McGinnis told Konetzke he didn't appear to show remorse, sentencing him to 20 years. 

"20 years from now, you'll be 77 years old. Can we trust you to live in the community? I think most of the people in the audience would say no," said McGinnis.
"No amount of time can return these two people back to their families and no matter what number we chose, none of that solves that, fixes it, or makes anybody whole again," said Melinda Tempelis, Outagamie County district attorney. 

Still, family members say they appreciate the lengthy prison sentence. 

"Maybe this will send a message to those that decide to drink and drive and not think of anyone else," said family member Diane Urban.

While Konetzke wrote the family a letter of apology, loved ones say they don't know if they'll ever forgive him.

If Konetzke gets out of prison, he'll have to pay restitution and do community service to help try and prevent future drunk driving.