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Man Sentenced For Fatal Crash
MONROE TOWNSHIP, Ohio (Angenette Levy) -- A New Richmond man who was charged in a July crash that killed a woman and left her fianc with serious injuries was sentenced Tuesday to the maximum of 180 days in jail.
Cody Rose also received 310 days in jails for probation violations on prior cases.
Rose pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter for the July 29 crash that killed Maria Linfert. Her fianc, Steve Chaney, suffered serious injuries including head trauma.
Neither alcohol nor drugs were factors in the crash.
Rose was driving without a license when he turned left in front of Chaney's motorcycle on Bethel-New Richmond Rd. Family of Linfert and Chaney spoke at Tuesday's sentencing hearing.
"Maria and Steve were happy. They didn't need much to be happy. Just to be together," said Kathy Chaney, Steve Chaney's sister.
Linfert was a hairdresser who had a 15-year-old daughter.
"Now every morning I wake to a stabbing pain to the chest. A broken heart. It's excruciating," Lily Linfert said.
Rose, who was 21 at the time of the crash, was on probation for three cases involving underage consumption, driving under the influence and obstruction of justice. He was released on his own recognizance after pleading no contest to the vehicular manslaughter charge. But Judge Anthony Brock said Rose violated the terms of his bond by testing positive for oxycodone, alcohol and marijuana.
Brock said when asked why he used alcohol and marijuana, Rose replied "because it was my (expletive) birthday."
Rose apologized for the crash.
"I'm sorry. I never meant for this to happen. I was trying to get my life together. " His attorney also spoke on his behalf.
"It's apparently obviously he's extremely remorseful for this tragic accident and the resulting death of Maria Linfert and the injuries to Mr. Chaney," Todd Stoffel said.
Stoffel said his client tested positive for oxycodone because he tried to take his own life only to change his mind and regurgitate the pills.
Clermont County Prosecutor Vince Faris asked that Rose receive the maximum sentence.
"A good point has been made that a situation like this could happen to numerous people. Except for the fact if all he had done was follow the law that day this would have never occurred. He had no right to drive. He violated the law by doing that," Faris said.
Judge Brock agreed probation would not be an appropriate option for Rose.
"You have failed miserably on community control. You have not done the things you were ordered to do. You continue to commit new offenses," Brock said.
Steve Chaney's family rode motorcycles to court for him. He has trouble speaking because of the head injury he suffered but he told Local 12 News he would like to see state laws changed.
Chaney and his family believe a person should be charged with a felony if they cause a fatal crash when they are driving without a license.
"We also feel like the laws aren't tough enough. He was a reckless person and driving without a license should have been reckless. He would have been in there a lot longer," Chaney's sister-in-law, Christine Kochanowski said.
Judge Brock suspended Roses license for two years. Brock said he would consider probation as an option for Rose only after he served a considerable portion of his sentence for vehicular manslaughter.