Man with murder, vehicular manslaughter convictions now accused of DUI, fighting deputies

William Wheeler
William Wheeler Ada County Jail

A Boise man convicted of second-degree murder and vehicular manslaughter is back in police custody after he was arrested for suspected driving under the influence and allegedly fighting with responding deputies.

William Wheeler, 62, is accused of allegedly tussling with law enforcement on July 21 when deputies attempted to to arrest him on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Another driver reported around 5 p.m. that someone, later identified as Wheeler, was driving into oncoming traffic in Nampa. The reporting party followed Wheeler, claiming he then hit another vehicle at the intersection of South Black Cat Road and Amity Road in Meridian.

When deputies arrived, they claim he failed a roadside drunk driving test and refused to take a breathalyzer. Court documents accuse Wheeler of struggling with law enforcement as they put him in a patrol car.

When Wheeler was in custody, a deputy released one hand from his handcuffs to allow a paramedic to draw some blood to test his blood alcohol content.

“Well, we might as well rock and roll, guys,” Wheeler reportedly said before allegedly kicking an Ada County Sheriff’s deputy in the knee, according to court documents.

Wheeler remains in custody at the Ada County Jail for suspected felony assault or battery on police, misdemeanor resisting arrest and misdemeanor DUI.

He also has a warrant from the Idaho Department of Correction for violating the parole of a prior conviction.

In 2006, Wheeler was sentenced to five to 15 years for driving his motorcycle so erratically that his female passenger fell off and was then run over by a semi-truck. The Statesman reported at the time that Wheeler was under the influence of alcohol and methamphetamine at the time of the fatal crash.

Witnesses told police at the time that Wheeler stopped briefly to check on his passenger when she fell off, but then drove away. He was released onto parole in 2011, but it would not have been complete until 2021, according to IDOC records.

Prior to the motorcycle crash, in 1984, Wheeler was charged with second-degree murder and served nearly eight years in prison for fatally shooting a man. In 1992, that charge was reduced to voluntary manslaughter after a judge ordered a new jury trial for wheeler in the shooting death. He completed the new sentence in 1996.

Wheeler’s next court appearance is set for Aug. 6.

Ruth Brown: 208-377-6207, @RuthBrownNews