Man appears in court for suspected DUI crash that killed Madera woman

Emi's family and friends were in the courtroom Monday, and said she had dreams of becoming a lawyer and then a judge.

Vanessa Vasconcelos Image
Tuesday, August 22, 2023
Man appears in court for suspected DUI crash that killed Madera woman
A man accused of killing a 20-year-old Madera woman in a DUI crash appeared in court by Zoom on Monday.

MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- A man accused of killing a 20-year-old Madera woman in a DUI crash appeared in court by Zoom on Monday.

From a recovery bed, 38-year-old Michael Messer had this to say when the judge asked if he had seen documentation pertaining to his charges.

"Everything is groggy. It's been foggy for me," said Michael.

CHP investigators say 20-year-old Emillianne Audler, also known as Emi, was on her way to work and was just minutes from her home when she was hit head-on by a truck driven by Messer, who was driving on the wrong side of the road.

Court records show Messer had two other DUIs, one in 2018 and the other in 2020.

"He took a life while he still has his / he seems to have no remorse. He was given the chance to speak, and he only tried to make himself look like he was a victim when he's not," said Julianne Audler, Emi's sister.

The crash sent shockwaves throughout the entire Madera community.

The heartbreak was seen as dozens of family and friends gathered to pay tribute to their loved ones.

Emi's family and friends were in the courtroom Monday, and said she had dreams of becoming a lawyer and then a judge.

"She was always the person that could make you smile. She was very smart very educated," said Julianne.

They expressed concern after the judge decided to continue the arraignment to another date.

"Right. It takes some time. This is gonna be a very complex case. There's gonna be a lot of documents. There'll be more than likely sub a substantial amount of scientific evidence," said Madera County District Attorney Sally Moreno.

"Well, you know it's it's murder, and that's how that's what happens when you have a prior DUI, and or we can prove that you know how dangerous DUI driving is."

While Moreno says she can't discuss the specifics of the case, she says they are working to aggressively hold DUI drivers accountable.

"We've had three fatal collisions of this type since June of this year, and I'm tired. I'm tired of it, you know, and I we're doing everything in our power to get it stopped," Moreno said.

Messer's arraignment was continued to Tuesday, September 5.

He's being held on more than $1 million bail.

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