POLK COUNTY -- (DrydenWire.com) -- The Court has sentenced Andrew Endres on convictions from a Polk County 2014 hit and run case that resulted in the deaths of two people, identified as Richard Cobenais and Benjamin Juarez.
DrydenWire.com previously reported that charges were filed against Andres in October 2020 after law enforcement’s investigation led them to Endres as the driver of the vehicle involved in the 2014 fatal crash. A press conference was held on October 22, 2020, to update the public.
In January of 2019, on the 5 year anniversary of the crash, Polk County and St. Croix Tribal authorities had issued a release seeking the public’s help.
A witness at the time of the incident told authorities that the vehicle had been a dark-colored truck and that it stopped briefly after striking Cobenais and Juarez. Two males exited the truck, approached the scene, and then turned and fled back to the truck, ultimately leaving the scene. The witness heard one of the males say “we need to get out of here”.
On September 28, 2020, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office received a tip from someone stating that they knew Andrew Endres had been the driver of the vehicle involved in the double fatality. During a later interview, the witness also told law enforcement that Endres had been consuming alcohol the evening of the incident; and that Endres had paid cash to have the truck repaired following the incident.
On October 14, 2020, Investigators interviewed Endres about the double fatality and he initially stated that he did not know where Polk County, WI was, although he did later confirm that his family-owned property near Luck, WI. Endres told Investigators that the information provided against him was due to another individual’s hostile feelings toward him, stating “I hate to tell you, I think you’re going on a wild good chase.”
On the evening of October 14, 2020, Investigators made contact with the individual who had been the passenger in the truck that Endres was driving at the time of the double fatality.
A search warrant was conducted at Endres’ residence on October 15, 2020, and while the warrant was being executed, Endres stated that he wanted to speak with his attorney.
On October 18, 2020, Investigators once again met with the witness who had been a passenger in the truck at the time of the crash. The witness told investigators that they had been at the Endres family property on the date of the incident and that Endres had been driving at the time that it struck Cobenais and Juarez. Endres got out of the truck following the crash and after stating “we have to get out of here”, drove away from the scene. The individual also said that after they arrived back at the family property, the witness went inside to preoccupy the rest of the people who were there, while Endres attempted to clean the truck off with bleach.
Endres was charged with two counts of Class D Felony, Hit & Run - Resulting in Death. At a hearing on November 5, 2020, the Court ordered a $50,000 cash bond for Endres which was posted that same day. Online circuit court records show that a few more court hearings were held on Endres’ case, and in November 2021, he appeared for a plea hearing. The Court accepted Endres’ plea of No Contest to both his charges.
Endres appeared most recently on January 18, 2022, for a sentencing hearing. The Court heard statements from family members of the victims. Polk County District Attorney Kemp presented a sentencing argument, requesting a 12-year prison sentence with 6 years of initial confinement followed by 6 years extended supervision to be served concurrently on each conviction. The Court also heard from Endres’ defense counsel who requested that the court order a sentence for local jail and probation with time imposed.
Online circuit court records show that the Hon. Jeffery Anderson ordered a 10-year sentence on each of Endres’ convictions, to be served concurrently, with 5 years of initial confinement in state prison, followed by 5 years of extended supervision.
Conditions will require Endres to complete PTSD treatment and recommendations and complete 200 hours of community service per year of extended supervision.
Endres is prohibited from having any contact with the families of the victims unless a letter of apology from him is requested.