Case of man charged in fatal pedestrian strike continued 8 times

Butler County prosecutor says he is frustrated with the continuances.

On May 29, a woman was killed after she was struck by a vehicle while walking along a West Chester Twp. road. The driver of the vehicle left the scene, but following a two–month investigation, a suspect was charged with aggravated vehicular homicide.

Five months later, the suspect, Miguel Gomez-Alvarez, remains housed in the Butler County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bond. There has been no trial date set or change of plea, and the case has been continued eight times in Butler County Common Pleas Court.

“I am getting frustrated with it,” said Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser. He said the continuances were not perpetuated by his office.

Gmoser said he fully expects a trial date to be set on Dec. 20 when Gomez-Alvarez is due back in Judge Noah Powers’ courtroom for a “plea or trial setting.”

Gomez-Alvarez’s court-appointed attorney, Lisa Rabanus, did not return calls asking for comment.

Gomez-Alvarez, 31 was indicted by a Butler County grand jury on July 20 for aggravated vehicular homicide, failure to stop after an accident and operating a vehicle under the influence for allegedly hitting Sherry Berna Haywood with his SUV killing her then leaving the scene.

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A security guard called West Chester Police after finding the 46-year-old Cincinnati on Muhlhauser Road just west of Ohio 747. She was dead at the scene. Haywood died of multiple traumatic injuries, according to the Butler County Coroner’s Office.

Prosecutors say Gomez-Alvarez had consumed alcohol and was driving without ever obtaining a license when he hit Haywood and fled. The badly damage SUV was found by a West Chester police officer on June 2 at The Willows Apartment Complex off Chesterdale Drive in Springdale.

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