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Former board candidate guilty of DWI

(Sept. 3, 2015) Two-time Ocean Pines Board of Directors candidate Slobodan Trendic was found guilty of DWI following a June 20 incident involving vehicle and property damage.
The court essentially merged two charges – driving while impaired by alcohol and negligent driving of a vehicle in a careless and imprudent manner endangering property, life and person – and ordered Trendic to pay a $400 fine and court costs during a trial Wednesday in District Court in Snow Hill. He had faced 16 total charges, and pleaded not guilty to them all.
Attorney Marc Zeve noted that Trendic was found not guilty of charges that he left the scene of the accident.
“He didn’t agree that he left the scene of an accident and he didn’t,” Zeve said. “He was on his way back to put a note. He was doing the honest thing and the judge agreed.”
Zeve said he was pleased with the outcome of the trial.
“It’s an unfortunate thing, but we’re happy with it,” he said.
Trendic did not return calls seeking comment.
Lanny Hickman, the property owner involved in the incident, said his two-year-old car was totaled, and more than $3,000 of property damage was done when Trendic drove onto his property in June, smashing part of a stone wall over the culvert near the driveway.
“He ran into the stone wall and totally destroyed the stone and slate, and the slate was crushed and it went everywhere,” he said. “That was part of the damage to the car – it was kind of like shrapnel from a bomb.”
Hickman said Tuesday that he dealt directly with Trendic’s insurance company, who paid for the damages, and the wall has been repaired. His car, however, was another story.
“We’re out over $12,000 to get another car,” Hickman said. “We got $19,000, but we wanted to replace it with the same kind of car we had, so we bought a new one and we’re out $12,000 and change.
“They would argue that, well, you got $19,000, that’s plenty for you to get a car. But it does not replace the car that we had,” Hickman continued. “We sent him a letter saying it’s totaled and we got our settlement with our insurance company from yours, but you owe us $12,000 and change. Please send us a certified check.”
Hickman said he received a reply from Trendic, who apparently mistook the new car for a repaired version of the old one.
“I took the first letter and left it as is, and then added a paragraph, ‘apparently you didn’t read this letter well. If you look further down it says the car is totaled. As far as we’re concerned you still owe us $12,000,’” Hickman said. “I dropped that in the mail yesterday.
A civil suit pursing the additional funds is still on the table, according to Hickman.
“A lawsuit is certainly possible,” Hickman said.