Boerne authorities won't say why they didn't file DWI against woman later involved in head-on crash

Initially, Boerne police recommended a DWI charge against Kendall Lauren Batchelor for the 2021 incident, but she was only arraigned on a lesser offense.

click to enlarge Boerne resident Kennedy Jones took this photo after a Dec. 23 collision that she said involved Kendall Lauren Batchelor. - Kennedy Jones
Kennedy Jones
Boerne resident Kennedy Jones took this photo after a Dec. 23 collision that she said involved Kendall Lauren Batchelor.
Kendall Lauren Batchelor, the 22-year-old San Antonian charged with intoxication manslaughter this month after a suspected wrong-way crash near Boerne, plowed into a pair of parked cars six months prior, police reports show.

The question is whether Batchelor — the daughter of Ken Batchelor Cadillac founder Ken Batchelor — was intoxicated at the time of that Dec. 23 collision. Separate reports from the Boerne Police Department appear to leave that in dispute.

In one report filed at the scene, a Boerne police officer describes the younger Batchelor as having committed the offense of "Driving While Intoxicated," a charge the document said had been "referred for prosecution." However, a separate report filed 19 hours later by a different officer lists only a misdemeanor charge against Batchelor: "Hitting Unattended Vehicle and Leaving the Scene."

According to the Kendall County Clerk's Office, Batchelor has only been charged with striking the two parked vehicles and fleeing the scene. As of last Friday, the office had no record of DWI charges being pursued against Batchelor for the crash.

At press time, neither the Boerne Police Department nor the Kendall County District Attorney's Office offered explanations why there were separate reports on the incident and why, so far, Batchelor appears only to have been charged with a  misdemeanor in the case.

If Batchelor had been charged with a DWI, it would have been her second such offense in three years, according to court records.

That's relevant as she now faces intoxication manslaughter charges for a June 2 crash in which she's accused of causing the death of 49-year-old David Belter by driving the wrong way down State Highway 46, according to a KSAT report.

Batchelor was unavailable for comment at press time.

The incident

In the Dec. 23 incident, Batchelor is accused of hitting two parked vehicles outside Borne's Burning Tree Condominium complex at around 3:15 a.m. with her Ford F-250 pickup, according to a police report obtained by the Current.

Batchelor's truck struck the parked vehicles at a "high rate of speed," the Boerne Star reports, citing a crash report. According to the newspaper, the collision's impact turned one vehicle sideways and pushed the other onto a nearby sidewalk.

Kennedy Jones, a Boerne resident who said her car was totaled by in the collision, told the Current she chased down Batchelor after the F-250 departed the scene. After Jones caught up with the driver, she agreed to wait until police arrived. 

Jones said Batchelor appeared intoxicated at the time: "I smelled it on her."

Boerne police officer Amy Lovebreed arrived to handle the call and filed a police report referring Batchelor to the DA's office for a DWI charge.

At some point after the call, Batchelor reported to the ER at Boerne Methodist, the Star reports. However, police reports provided "no explanation of when this happened," according to the paper's reporting.

'Incorrect case number'

Boerne resident Mackenzie Woodie, owner of the other car allegedly struck by Batchelor on Dec. 23, asked for a police report on the incident earlier this year for insurance purposes. She made her request using the case number responding officer Lovebreed wrote on a business card before leaving the scene.

"Inadvertently, you were given the incorrect case number," a Boerne public information officer responded to Woodie in a March 17 email. The email referred her to a different police report with a new case number.

That new report, filed by Lovebreed 19 hours after the alleged collision, describes the incident as a misdemeanor hit and run causing more than $200 in damages. The document, filed by a separate officer, James Estrada, has no reference to potential DWI charges.

Batchelor was later charged by the Kendall County DA's Office with a hit and run for the Dec. 23 crash, and a pre-trial hearing is set for July, according to information provided by the County Clerk's Office.

When contacted by the Current, Kendall County Assistant Criminal District Attorney Robert Lipo Jr. and Boerne PD Detective Micah Binkley, who was assigned to the case, both declined discuss its details.

Woodie said she was surprised Batchelor wasn't charged with a DWI or another more serious offense considering the damage done to the parked vehicles.

"The tow truck drivers who were trying to pick up the cars off [the] lawn kept saying how bad it was," Woodie said, recalling that morning in December. "[Batchelor's] pickup was spewing oil all over the neighbors' cars."

Not her first run-in

The Dec. 23 collision wasn't Batchelor's first time dealing with Kendall County authorities, official records show.

According to court documents, she pleaded guilty to a county DWI charge in 2018. Batchelor, 18 at the time, was ordered to pay a $500 fine and was sentenced to nine months of supervised release.

Batchelor also was charged with possessing alcohol while underage in Brazos County a month before her 2018 DWI. The Brazos County DA later threw out that charge, according to records obtained by the Current.

Jones, the woman whose car was totaled in the Dec. 23 crash, said she wants to make sure the 22-year-old is held accountable for the latest charge.

"I don't want this to happen at 3 p.m. in front of an elementary school," she said. "I am doing this to hold her accountable."

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Michael Karlis

Michael Karlis is a Staff Writer at the San Antonio Current. He is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., whose work has been featured in Salon, Alternet, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, Orlando Weekly, NewsBreak, 420 Magazine and Mexico Travel Today. He reports primarily on breaking news, politics...

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