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HomeFatal CrashesINTOXICATED BOATER WHO KILLED ONE AND INJURED OTHERS SENTENCED

INTOXICATED BOATER WHO KILLED ONE AND INJURED OTHERS SENTENCED

At 2:52 am on July 10, 2021, Montgomery County Dispatchers received a call for a boat crash near Margaritaville on Lake Conroe. Montgomery County Precinct 1 Lake Patrol, Montgomery Fire, Conroe Fire, and NMC Fire were also dispatched. Units arrived at the scene to find a 26-foot Key West boat with heavy damage on the Walden Golf Course. There were three critical victims on shore and one deceased victim, identified as Earl Schneider, in the water. Precinct 1 Constables notified the Texas Game Wardens who responded to the scene. An investigation was immediately started. The boat had slammed into the bulkhead and ended up over forty feet from the water on the golf course. Lake Conroe has an an ordinance that prohibits the operation of a boat at a speed in excess of the minimum planing speed during the period from one half—hour after sunset to one half—hour before sunrise. Investigators found an empty beer can near the console and a half-full whisky bottle under the seat. Also in the rear compartment was a trash bag with twenty-five empty beer cans. When investigators went to the hospital the boat owner and operator, Robert Brad Rice told investigators he wasn’t sure if he had been in a boat crash or a car crash. Rice’s blood alcohol was at .087, just over the legal limit but taken well after the time of the crash. The other two victims, were Stephen Schneider, son of the deceased, and his friend Jason Stewart told investigators Rice had been operating the boat. The victims told investigators that they had been at the fire pit at the Land Shark Bar at Margaritaville when Rice approached the trio and asked if they would like to go for a ride. They accepted and went out onto the lake for a short time. Stewart told investigators that as they returned they were going “fast enough that you couldn’t hear shit”. The next thing he recalled was choking on water and swimming to shore. He hung onto the bulkhead for over an hour before he realized he could call 911 from his Apple watch.  Precinct 1 Deputies found receipts of Rice from Guadalaha Harrys from 6 pm on July 9th. The receipts were for “Crown 3 Beam” and “$ Malibu”. Another receipt from the same establishment time-stamped at 9:12 pm showed “4 Shiner” and “Miller Lite”. In addition, an on-premise video obtained showed Rice at the bar drinking. GPS on the boat showed Rice leaving the establishment at 10:25 pm at 48-55mph and stopping at Margaritaville at 10:49 pm. At 12:41 am on the morning of the crash, he left Margaritaville at 52 miles per hour. After sitting idle in the Lake the boat then headed back at 51 miles per hour. He hit the bulkhead, which protruded above the water just over two feet at a speed of 47 miles per hour ejecting all occupants.  Multiple charges were filed on Rice including intoxication manslaughter for the death of Earl Schneider, manslaughter for the death of Earl Schneider, and intoxication assault and aggravated assault for each of the two other victims Stephen Schneider, and Jason Stewart. On Tuesday, June 25, 2024, almost three years since the crash, Rice was sentenced to 12 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. In addition, there was a finding of a deadly weapon (the boat) . With a deadly weapon finding Rice will not be eligible for parole until 50% of his sentence is complete. In the plea deal, all charges were dismissed except the intoxication manslaughter charge.

6/25/2024 368969 RICE, ROBERT BRAD 602 COLLEGE ST MONTGOMERY TX 77356 MCSO 359TH DISTRICT COURT 21-08-11834 D359 INTOXICATED MANSLAUGHTER W/ VEHICLE SENTENCED 12 YEARS TDCJ

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