A Liberty County jury on Sept. 28 sentenced Christopher Michael Vogler, 33, to 7 years in prison after finding him guilty of the felony offense of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon and 2 years probation for Failure to Stop and Render Aid for a motor vehicle crash that occurred on March 24, 2019, south of Liberty, Texas. The Honorable Judge Mark Morefield, 75th Judicial District Court, presided over the two-day trial.
Prosecutors Kevin Barnes and Kayla Herrington presented evidence that Vogler, after discharging a weapon at a residence in Mont Belvieu, fled the scene at a high rate of speed. After entering Liberty County and reaching speeds in excess of 90 miles per hour, he collided with a vehicle occupied by two seventeen-year-old females who were merely crossing the street. The jury heard testimony from numerous witnesses who responded to the scene and placed a total of eight calls to 911. Vogler made no attempt to personally aid the girls at the scene, nor attempted to place any calls for assistance. Witnesses recalled Vogler’s attitude toward the young ladies, repeatedly referring to them using vulgar language, even as the injured driver remained trapped inside her vehicle.
Video footage was presented of Vogler’s attempt to flee the scene, his efforts thwarted by the quick and courageous acts of bystanders who removed him from his vehicle and held him until law enforcement arrived. Trooper Daniel Hebert, first responder, testified regarding the severity of the situation, immediately requesting assistance from Life Flight after assessing the driver’s condition. Suffering a broken jaw, collar bone, pelvis and sustaining a spinal injury, the driver testified of the months she spent confined to a wheelchair and then learning to walk again. She further testified that she is still undergoing surgeries and is in a great deal of pain every day. After just two hours of deliberation, the jury returned its verdict.
District Attorney Jennifer Bergman Harkness and ADA Kevin G. Barnes are pleased with the outcome of the case.
“Most of us have been in car accidents, and most car accidents are just that: accidents. What Vogler did was beyond the pale. Vogler failed to meet the most basic and fundamental standards of human decency that we, as a society, expect. Further, his behavior after the wreck was appalling. I do not understand how any person could look at that 17-year-old girl, her broken body, bleeding, and trapped in her vehicle, crying out for her mama, and treat her life with such contempt. Vogler would have left her there to die, and I thank God the good people of Liberty County stepped up and saved her. Vogler deserves every minute he serves in prison,” said Barnes.
“Today, this jury sent a clear message to Christopher Michael Vogler and anyone else who chooses to repeatedly make bad decisions, refuses to take accountability for their actions, and demonstrates that they have no concern or regard for those that are seriously injured as a result of those bad decisions. Serious consequences await them in Liberty County. The Liberty County District Attorney’s Office and the Juries of Liberty County have, and will, continue to hold those who wreak havoc in our County accountable for their actions,” said Bergman.