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Wednesday, Apr. 16, 2014

Hefflinger is sentenced

Thursday, February 21, 2002

STE. GENEVIEVE - Donald T. Hefflinger, of Ava, Ill., received the jury's maximum recommended sentence on Tuesday morning for his involvement in the death of Portageville Elementary teacher Joyce Preslar.

Hefflinger, who turns 30 on Sunday, will spend the next 12 years of his life in jail.

On March 23, 2001, Joyce Preslar, 48, and her husband Jerry, 51, were traveling north on Interstate-55 near Ste. Genevieve when Hefflinger, traveling south, crossed over to the northbound lane and crashed into the driver's side of the Preslars' vehicle, killing Mrs. Preslar.

In January, a jury found Hefflinger guilty of involuntary manslaughter and one count of second-degree assault. He was acquitted of four other counts, one of which, included murder.

Hefflinger's 12-year sentence is consecutive. He will serve seven years for his manslaughter conviction and five years for his assault conviction. Hefflinger is also required to pay a fine of $5,000 for each offense.

Currently, Hefflinger is being held at the Ste. Genevieve County Jail while his paperwork is processed.