According to investigators, William Horstman was discovered unconscious, not breathing, inside his 2001 Cadillac along the side of the road near the 300 block of Graves Lane, of Lincoln County near Foley. The Lincoln County Coroner pronounced him dead in the early evening of Tuesday.
During the investigation, detectives noticed debris and tire markings were located along the 300 block of Graves Lane, which indicated Horstman has been struck by a motor vehicle causing blunt force trauma. A witness told investigators she observed Horstman involved in a verbal altercation with his paramour, 51-year old, Paulette Lee Eaker.
In the early morning hours of April 29, investigators took Paulette Eaker into custody for questioning in Winfield. During her interview, Eaker told investigators she was driving her 1997 Ford Expedition south on Graves Lane and struck Horstman because he would not move away from her path of travel. Eaker said she left the scene without rendering first aid or summonsing medical attention.
Eaker continued by saying she was traveling at a high rate of speed. It is believed Horstman crawled back to his vehicle where he died.
Medical examination of Horstman revealed he died of blunt force trauma to his head and chest, to include 20 broken ribs and massive brain bleeding. Forensic autopsy performed in St. Louis revealed William Horstman was not facing the Expedition driven by Paulette Eaker at the time he was struck by the vehicle.
Paulette Eaker is charged with Felony Involuntary Manslaughter in the First Degree and Felony Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident. Eaker is currently housed at the Lincoln County Jail under a $500,000 cash only bond. Other conditions of bond may apply.
All persons charged with a crime are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.