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Man involved in fatal wreck faces new charges

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

A Dublin man who served a six-year prison sentence in connection with a fatal wreck in 2015, has been arrested on new charges.

Robert Allen Novotny was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2016 for allegedly being under the influence of prescription medication when he drove head-on into a GMC Jimmy Jan. 31, 2015. Frankie Dale Branch, 38, of Christiansburg died at the scene of the wreck on Route 114 in Montgomery County.

Novotny was sentenced in August 2016 to six years in prison. Virginia inmates typically serve about 85 percent of their sentence, so Novotny most likely was released from prison within the past year.

According to New River Valley Regional Jail records, he was arrested by Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office Aug. 27 on two counts of possession of narcotics and one count each of possession of drug paraphernalia and being drunk in public.

Novotny was released from custody on a summons. His court date is Nov. 15 in Pulaski County General District Court.

According to online documents related to Novotny’s appeal of his involuntary manslaughter conviction, a blood sample taken from Novotny at the hospital following the 2015 wreck did not contain evidence of drugs or alcohol in his system.

However, court officials pointed out the laboratory did not test for buprenorphine, which is an active ingredient in Subutex. Novotny was said to have told a police officer at the scene that he had taken Subutex the night before the wreck and Amitriptyline (an anti-depressant) the morning of the wreck.

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