Emilio Navaira turns himself in

March 7, 2009 6:38:34 AM PST
Attorneys for singer Emilio Navaira say the singer surrendered overnight after being charged in his tour bus crash last Easter Sunday. [PHOTOS: See images from this story]

There was a warrant out for Emilio's arrest, but prosecutors didn't consider him a flight risk or a danger to the public, so no one was looking for him. Emilio's manager didn't even know about those charges until Eyewitness News told him about it. Navaira posted a $5,000 bond and was released.

At a Tejano music station BNet, DJ Roland Martinez still gets constant requests for Emilio songs and constant questions about his recovery.

"We get emails and requests on Emilio that say, 'Hey what's the latest'," said Martinez.

Fans didn't drop him when we first revealed Emilio's blood alcohol level last May and Martinez thinks they will still support him even now that he's charged with DWI.

The music star was thrown from his touring bus and critically injured early last Easter Sunday morning when it crashed on the West Loop at 59. Seven other people on board were also injured. Emilio was behind the wheel.

According to newly filed court documents, 30 minutes after the accident, Emilio's blood alcohol level was .22, more than twice the legal limit.

His injuries from the accident were severe. According to his agent, Joe Casias, Emilio is still in physical therapy and still has a long way to go in his recovery. It's one reason prosecutor Warren Diepraam waited so long to file a charge.

"We wanted to make sure that he was mentally competent to discuss this case with his attorney. We feel he's reached that plateau," said Diepraam.

The charge against Emilio is a Class A misdemeanor. He has a previous DWI conviction, but it takes two to make a felony.

In addition, despite the injuries to Emilio's band members, Diepraam said none were serious enough to warrant an intoxication assault charge.

"The law requires that the injury be permanently disfiguring. At this point, we don't have any evidence that any of the injuries were permanently disfiguring," he said.

While he's got plenty of legal troubles, fans are still hoping for a comeback.

A court date was set for next Friday.

If convicted, Emilio could face up to a year in jail. Those familiar with DWI cases like these say it's likely he will just get probation.

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