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Judge vacates vehicular homicide suspect’s insanity plea

| January 30, 2023
Justin Brill had his plea of not guilty by reason of insanity vacated during a hearing before Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Ernest. (WJER Radio)

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Jan. 30, 2023) – The case against the driver accused of causing the hit-and-run crash that killed a New Philadelphia man is back on track.

23-year-old Justin Brill had his plea of not guilty by reason of insanity thrown out when appeared in Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court Monday morning. Judge Michael Ernest vacated it and restored Brill’s initial not guilty plea after his public defender declined to contest the results of a psychological evaluation performed by the district nine Forensic Diagnostic Center.

Brill is charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, OVI, and aggravated vehicular assault for the June 14th crash outside of the Beaver Creek Apartments that killed 55-year-old Ronald Rader and seriously injured another man. He remains free on his own recognizance ahead of his next court appearance on February 21st. 

Brill’s trial is scheduled to begin on March 1st unless he admits to the crimes before then or Ernest agrees to postpone the proceedings.

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