LAWRENCE – Douglas County District Attorney Suzanne Valdez today announced that a jury returned guilty verdicts on one count of aggravated battery and one count of driving under the influence against Matthew David Zaitz, 34, of Topeka.
Charges stemmed from an incident that occurred in the early morning hours on October 3, 2020 near the intersection of North 1500 Road and East 1750 Road. Zaitz and a female passenger, a Lawrence resident, were discovered injured after their vehicle had left the roadway and crashed in a nearby field. Both Zaitz and his passenger, who were found outside the vehicle, suffered serious injuries.
“DUI is a completely avoidable crime,” District Attorney Valdez said. “It’s also a crime that puts the entire community at risk unnecessarily. The prosecution team was extremely diligent and we appreciate the jury’s service as well.”
The State was represented by Senior Assistant District Attorney David Greenwald and Assistant District Attorney Paula Bustamante. The case was investigated by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, the Kansas Highway Patrol and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.
Sentencing was set by Judge Amy Hanley for 1:30 p.m. on January 10, 2022 at the Douglas County Judicial and Law Enforcement Center.
Zaitz faces 31 to 136 months in the Kansas Department of Corrections for his conviction of aggravated battery. He also faces 90 days to one year in the county jail and a fine between $1,750 and $2,500 for the DUI conviction.