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Prosecutor fired after arrest on DUI charge

Nevins, who could not be reached for comment, joined the Madison County prosecutor’s office in 1996. His annual salary was $79,995.

Nevins was stopped on Conventry Place — a short distance from the Criminal Justice Center where felony cases are prosecuted — at 5 p.m., according to Edwardsville Police Chief James Bedell.

Officer Brandon Whittaker wrote in a report that Nevins was parked illegally, smelled strongly of alcohol, had glazed eyes, appeared disoriented and admitted drinking and was unsteady on his feet.

Nevins refused to take field sobriety tests and refused a breathalyzer. The refusal to take a breathalyzer is a mandatory year long suspension of driving privileges.

“This was a very difficult decision for me, as I have know Tom for a long time and he is highly respected as a prosecutor,” Gibbons said. “However, this was a necessary decision in order to maintain the high degree of professionalism and integrity that the people of Madison County deserve and have come to expect of my office.”

Among the cases Nevins successfully prosecuted:

* Sandra Merrifield, an O’Fallon woman, who killed her half sister and claimed the sister’s newborn baby as her own.

* Michelle Swanson, a Godfrey woman, who piled clothes on top of her 35-day-old daughter, killing her.

* JoAnn Reidelberger, who was accused of reckless homicide for the homecoming night crash that killed Angela Cowin.

A special prosecutor will be handling Nevins’ prosecution on the DUI, Gibbons said.

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