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Cops & Courts

Jones seeks hearing to change plea in fatal car wreck

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    Erin Y. Jones testifies during a hearing on her motion to withdraw her no contest pleas.



MEDINA — Medina Common Pleas Court Judge Joyce V. Kimbler Thursday granted an Avon Lake woman’s motion for a hearing to withdraw a no-contest plea to two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and two counts of aggravated vehicular assault.

Erin Y. Jones, 45, was scheduled for sentencing for Thursday, but attorney Mike Callow filed the motion on Wednesday, saying Jones felt pressured to make the plea and that she believes she is innocent.

Assistant County Prosecutor Mike McNamara argued that the motion should be denied, but Common Pleas Court Judge Joyce Kimbler approved it over his objections.

The case stems from a December 2015 crash that left James Sexton, 75, of Pennsylvania, dead and several others injured on Interstate 71 in Montville Township.

Jones was reported by the Ohio Highway Patrol to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.205 percent at 3:30 a.m. Dec. 27, 2015, when her 2009 Chevrolet Malibu struck Sexton’s 2011 Ford Fusion while traveling north on I-71.

A northbound Chevrolet Cavalier driven by Genghis Meredith, 58, of Oakwood Village, then struck Sexton’s vehicle, disabling it and sending it into the left lane. A northbound Nissan XTerra driven by Sarah Martin, 32, of Hamilton, then struck Sexton’s car on the passenger’s side.

The patrol said a northbound Lincoln MK7, driven by Waymon Lanier, 76, of Cleveland, then hit the XTerra and the Fusion.

Sexton, who was not wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene. A rear-seat passenger, his 5-year-old grandson, Liam Sexton, of Monticello, Ky., was flown to Akron Children’s Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The other drivers were treated for minor injuries at the scene and released.

This story has been edited to reflect the following correction: The attorney for Erin Y. Jones sought a hearing to withdraw her plea.

Contact reporter Marina Malenic at (330) 721-4063 or

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