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Man guilty of vehicular homicide

Cary Ashby • Jan 29, 2014 at 11:55 PM

A motorist who drove a speeding vehicle that killed another driver in a fiery, rear-end crash has been convicted of five felonies.

Morgan E. Jevec, 24, of Massillon, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count each of aggravated vehicular homicide, aggravated vehicular assault and failure to comply with order or signal of police officer. He also was convicted of two charges of vehicular assault.

Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said he and Huron County Public Defender David Longo have made a joint recommendation of Jevec serving 15 years in prison. With 10 1/2 of the years being mandatory on some of the charges, Jevec can apply for release after spending 11 years behind bars.

Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway said that while he isn't bound to follow the recommendation, he told the attorneys he finds the prison term "reasonable."

As part of a plea deal, the state agreed to dismiss the remaining charges on Jevec's nine-count indictment.

Jevec's convictions are for a high-speed incident Sept. 17 when he sped away from police while he was intoxicated.

"There are no winners in this situation," Leffler told the judge Tuesday.

Jevec and some friends were out drinking Sept. 17 and he drove a 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis from Norwalk to Bellevue, Leffler said.

At 11:07 p.m., the Bellevue Police Department received the report of a reckless driver on U.S. 20 in Monroeville. Leffler said three minutes later, the pursuing officer clocked Jevec going 78 mph in a 50 mph zone near Prairie Road. Other officers soon joined the pursuit.

Jevec didn't stop for police and in the meantime, officers were able to stop some traffic from entering U.S. 20 from side streets, Leffler said.

The driver of a 2002 Chevrolet Blazer, Tracy Albright, 36, of Bellevue, was stopped at a red light at the North Sandusky Street intersection. Leffler said Jevec rear-ended the truck and pushed the Blazer into the intersection.

"The car caught on fire. She was killed as a result of the crash," the prosecutor said.

Albright was pronounced dead at the scene from her injuries.

Bellevue resident Travis Roach, 54, was treated and released at the scene for injuries sustained when his Buick Lacrosse was hit by Jevec's car after the first collision. Jevec and his passengers -- three men from Canton -- suffered serious injuries and were taken to various hospitals.

The crash closed U.S. 20 for about three hours.

The suspect's blood-alcohol concentration was .136 percent, Leffler said. The legal limit for Ohio drivers is .08 percent.

Although Jevec didn't stop when police turned on their lights and sirens, "he was otherwise cooperative with authorities," Leffler said.

Jevec, at Tuesday's hearing, answered the judge's questions about understanding his rights by clearly and loudly saying "yes, your honor" or "no, your honor."

"Based on the severity of the charges," Conway said he would be revoking the defendant's $100,000 bond. That means Jevec will remain in the Huron County Jail until he is sentenced March 12.

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