NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) – The suspect in last summer’s deadly hit-and-run crash outside of a New Philadelphia apartment complex is facing mandatory prison time after pleading guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide.
23-year-old Justin Brill admitted to that charge and six others when he appeared in Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court Tuesday afternoon. Judge Michael Ernest found Brill guilty and ordered his return to be punished for the crimes on June 23rd.
“You need to be here on that date. I know, Justin, you have complied with the terms of the bail and pre-trial supervision up to this point, and I appreciate the respect you have shown the court by doing that and I trust that you will continue to do that.”
Brill was accused of fatally striking 55-year-old Ronald Rader and injuring another man as they were sitting outside of the Beaver Creek apartments on June 14th. The vehicular homicide charge carries a mandatory 2- to 8-year prison term although Ernest tack on additional time for the other crimes Brill admitted to.
“The state of Ohio has represented that the potential is up to a period of 17 years that exists here, and it will become more clear at the time of sentencing but there are some of these crimes that will merge with other crimes.”
Prosecutors have said Brill’s blood alcohol level was almost twice the legal limit when police found him at his home nearly two hours after he plowed into the two men and fled the scene. They’ve agreed to recommend an aggregate prison term of 10.5 to 13.5 years, although the offer only stands if Brill remains law abiding ahead of his sentencing.