Sobering Look at Killer's DUI History

Exclusive documents show a six-time loser often drunk, rarely out of trouble

For 19 years Edward Schaefer has been a hard-drinking disaster waiting to happen.

The 43-year-old man, a resident of Novato, north of San Francisco, had been convicted of drinking and driving six times before police say he committed the crime that will likely keep him off the road for good.  

Police say Schaefer was drunk last week when he drove through a Novato crosswalk on his motorcycle, killing 9-year-old Melody Osheroff and leaving her father with such critical injuries that doctors had to amputate one of his legs.

Deputy District Attorney Geoff Iida said Schaefer's blood alcohol level was 0.16 percent, twice the level considered intoxicated when the crash happened.

He delayed entering a plea in court Tuesday in the case but shared his feelings with a gesture to prosecutors: the middle finger.

By researching decades' worth of public records, NBC Bay Area has tracked Schaefer's driving record back to its troubled start.

  • 1990:  Marin County - DUI.  6 months in jail, 3 years probation, license suspended 4 years.
  • 1990:  Marin County - DUI.  44 days in jail, 3 years probation.
  • 1991:  Marin County - DUI.  26 days in jail.
  • 1995:  Marin County - DUI.  4 months in jail, 2 years probation, license suspended 3 years, $2,000 fine, ignition device 1 year.
  • 1999:  Sonoma County - Alcohol-related Reckless Driving.  30 days in jail.  2 years probation.
  • 2004:  Nevada - DUI.

Schaefer faced the same Marin County judge in his first four cases.  Commissioner Randolph E. Heubach says he gets dozens of cases a day and doesn't remember Schaefer's specific cases.  In fact, Huebach tells NBC Bay Area that he might not have been aware of Schaefer's previous offenses when Schaefer appeared in Huebach's court.

Schaefer is due back in court June 19.

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