A vehicular manslaughter case, which has been ongoing since April, was revisted Friday in Hillsboro Municipal Court.
Betty L. Shelton, 34, of Lynchburg, was arraigned for vehicular manslaughter on May 7, according to court records.
An affidavit filed with the municipal court states that on or about Aug. 16 of last year, Shelton allegedly “pulled from Danville Road onto U.S. 50 and failed to yield the right of way to the operator of a motorcycle, James Patton.”
Patton, according to the affidavit, later died as a result of the injuries received in the crash.
On Friday, the case was continued and set for a pretrial on July 11 until the surviving spouse could be reached. Susan Zurface was appointed as special prosecutor in the case.
Also on Friday, seven OVI cases were heard, with five defendants accepting plea agreements.
Amy Shannon, 34, of Williamsburg, entered into an agreement wherein she would plead guilty to a charge of driving on a suspended license, a first-degree misdemeanor. The OVI charge, a drug paraphernalia charge, and a left of center charge were all dismissed.
Hillsboro Municipal Court Judge David H. McKenna said this was Shannon’s fourth OVI in four years. The OVI charge was dismissed, in part, he said, because it had not been indicted as a felony by a grand jury.
McKenna added that the case could be subject to resentencing.
After Shannon said she was going to make improvements, McKenna said, “But you keep doing it? Why is this going to be any different than all the others?”
He added, “You better hope you’re doing more than just talking about being different this time.”
She was sentenced to 180 days in jail, 150 of which were suspended. In addition, she was placed on two years reporting probation, must obtain counseling at the Talbert House, and complete a driver intervention program. She will be on a 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. curfew until her counseling is completed.
Shannon is also currently under electronic monitoring house arrest. She will remain on that until she has provided proof of attendance at the Talbert House.
A review hearing was scheduled for Sept. 15. “What you do between now and then may or may not talk me out of that 30 day jail sentence.” He added that her actions may also “talk (him) into the 180 days.”
McKenna also said the substance abuse counseling should be considered with high importance “so your children don’t have to be going to a funeral home rather than wondering if they’re going to visit you in jail.”
Also entering into a plea agreement was Amy Marshall, 43, of Decatur, Ohio. She pled guilty to OVI and a failure to control charge was dismissed.
She will have to pay a fine of $375 as well as court costs. In addition, Marshall will have to complete a three day driver intervention program. Her driver’s license was suspended for 180 days, except for family necessity, work, or the driver prevention program.
Her case is scheduled for a review hearing on Dec. 18.
David Jones, 48, of Dayton, entered into a plea agreement in which an OVI charge was amended to reckless operation, a third-degree misdemeanor.
He was given 60 days in jail, 57 of which were suspended. His driver’s license was suspended until March 7, 2015. He was placed on reporting probation, must complete counseling, and must also observe a curfew from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. until all fines and community service are completed. In addition, he is prohibited from having alcohol.
The OVI charge was also a probation violation of a previous domestic violence conviction. He was given 30 days in jail, which were furloughed until Dec. 8. At that time, his case will also be reviewed.
James E. Stephan II, 48, of Dover, also entered into a plea agreement concerning an OVI. As per the agreement, the charge was amended to third-degree misdemeanor equipment violation.
McKenna said that, “because of the circumstances,” which included Stephan being a CDL driver and the fact that he had a low blood alcohol test, a 30 day jail sentence would be suspended and his driving privileges were continued. Stephan will also have to pay a $500 fine plus court costs.
His case was scheduled for a review hearing on Oct. 2.
Also accepting a plea agreement was James Welsh, 66, of Hillsboro. As per the agreement, an OVI charge was amended to fourth-degree misdemeanor reckless operation and a minor misdemeanor headlights charge was dismissed. The state recommended three days in a driver intervention program and that any jail time be suspended.
When asked if he had anything to say, Welsh apologized for his actions.
“You don’t have to apologize to me,” McKenna said. “You might want to consider that for your family if you caused them any hardships.”
He was sentenced to 30 days in jail, 27 of which were suspended. He will be given three days of credit for completing the driver intervention program. In addition, he will have to pay a $250 fine and court costs.
During an arraignment hearing, Toni Powell pled guilty to OVI, a first-degree misdemeanor. McKenna said Powell had also had a different OVI charge in Clinton County last year, making this her second offense in less than six years.
She was also charged with possession of marijuana and open container, both minor misdemeanors.
The open container charge was dismissed. When asked about the other two charges, Powell said she had nothing to say.
McKenna then asked Powell why she hadn’t returned to court in Clinton County when she was supposed to in February. Powell said she couldn’t remember the reason. He then asked why she had not tried to appear in the last four months.
“I thought it was over,” Powell said.
“It’s not over until you hold up your end of the deal,” McKenna said.
She was fined $50 for the marijuana charge and $525 for the OVI. She was sentenced to 90 days in jail which could be subject to resentencing. Eighty of those days were suspended. The rest of that sentence began when she was taken into custody on Thursday. After being released, Powell will be taken to Clinton County. She was also placed on reporting probation.
Her case was scheduled for a review hearing on Dec. 1.
Shelby Collett, 29, of Milford, turned herself in to law enforcement concerning an OVI charge she had been found guilty of last year. McKenna said, since that time, she had not paid any fines or court costs, had not provided proof of completing a driver intervention program, and had not appeared on Nov. 23. On that date, a warrant had been issued for her arrest.
When asked why she did not come to court last November, she said, “It’s just been crazy.”
She said she had turned herself in so that she could find out how to resolve the pending issues.
When asked if she would pass a drug test, she said she would not and that she would fail for marijuana.
“That’s a problem, too,” McKenna said.
Then, when asked how long it would take to pay her fine, Collett said, “Not long.”
“I’m not sure ‘not long’ by your definition is the same as ‘not long’ by my definition,” said the judge.
She was given a seven day sentence for not paying her fines, not appearing for court, and not completing the driver intervention program. She will be in jail until June 30. A review hearing was scheduled for Dec. 1, at which time she may serve the rest of her sentence if those previous matters are not “taken care of.”
Finally, Elise A. Garrett, 24, of Mt. Orab, appeared in municipal court concerning her fourth speeding violation in less than 12 months.
She pled guilty and the state recommended a suspended sentence.
When asked if she had anything to say, Garrett said, “I was careless, irresponsible … and I was racing to work.”
In reviewing her recent cases, McKenna said, “You seem to be careless behind the wheel of a vehicle a lot.”
She was sentenced to 60 days in jail, all of which were suspended. Garrett was also placed on reporting probation and will have to a pay $500 fine plus court costs.
McKenna said this newest offense constituted a probation violation. As such, the 10 days in jail, which had been previously suspended, were reinstated.
McKenna said Garrett was “lucky,” as she would not have to begin serving those on Friday as there were already 15 women in the jail.
The 10 days will begin on Aug 7. On that date, depending on her actions, McKenna said, “You might be able to talk me out of (the jail sentence).”
“So far, you weren’t able to go three weeks without getting a new charge,” MCcKenna said. He added that, while Garrett may have referred to her actions as careless, he regarded it as “reckless disregard of the traffic laws because for some reason you seem to think they don’t apply to you this year.”
He added, “I certainly hope for your sake I don’t see you before that (Aug. 7), because then I might have to let someone out of jail to make room for you.”
Sarah Allen may be reached at 937-402-2571 or on Twitter @SarahAllenHTG.