A Fairfield County resident has been charged with aggravated vehicular homicide in connection with a crash that authorities say killed the fetus that his pregnant girlfriend was carrying.
Richard A. White, 20, pleaded not guilty when he was arraigned on the third-degree felony charge on Monday in Fairfield County Municipal Court. Conviction is punishable by up to five years in prison.
Fairfield County Prosecutor Gregg Marx said yesterday that he plans to present the case to a grand jury soon. Marx would not say how advanced the pregnancy was when the crash occurred.
Charging someone with a crime related to the death of a fetus does not occur frequently, but it is not unprecedented, Marx said.
White was speeding along Basil-Western Road in Liberty Township at about 12:35 a.m. on March 29, girlfriend Morgan E. Berkemeier beside him, when the Chevrolet Camaro went off the road at a curve and hit two trees, according to the incident report filed by the county sheriff’s office.
The crashed Camaro’s speed gauge was stuck between 100 mph and 110 mph. White and his girlfriend were taken to OhioHealth Grant Medical Center in Columbus, where White’s blood was taken for analysis after he appeared disoriented, slurred his words and displayed glassy eyes at the crash scene, the report says.
Marx would not say what the blood test showed.
His girlfriend now is his wife, White reported in his filing seeking a court-appointed lawyer. He and Morgan White, 19, listed a Pickerington address. He is free on his own recognizance.
By Mary Beth Lane - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)
©2013 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)
Visit The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio) at www.dispatch.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services