Trial set for this week canceled in deadly West Chester pedestrian crash

In May 2022, a woman was fatally struck while walking on a West Chester Twp. road. Two months later the man accused of being behind the wheel of the SUV was indicted, and 18 months later, a trial still has not happened.

Miguel Gomez-Alvarez, who is charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, OVI and failure to stop after an accident, was scheduled to stand trial Monday in Butler County Common Pleas Court, but that was canceled when the defense filed a motion to suppress evidence a couple weeks before trial.

A hearing on that motion involving statements made to police was also continued due to interpreter issues and rescheduled for Feb. 12. The trial is now scheduled for March 11 in Judge Noah Powers’ courtroom.

The case has been continued more than 10 times since arraignment, and litigation slowed further last June when Garcia-Alvarez was declared incompetent to stand trial because his Hispanic heritage made him incapable of understanding the United States legal system, according to prosecutors.

Two months later he was restored to competency after instruction at the jail. Gomez-Alvarez remains in the Butler County Jail in lieu of a $250,000 bond.

On May 29, 2022, Sherry Berna Haywood was killed after she was struck by a vehicle while walking on Muhlhauser Road just west of Ohio 747. The driver of the vehicle left the scene, but after a two–month investigation, a suspect was charged with aggravated vehicular homicide.

The 32-year-old Gomez-Alvarez was indicted by a Butler County grand jury on July 20, accused of hitting Haywood with his SUV, killing her, then leaving the scene.

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

Prosecutors said Gomez-Alvarez of Springdale had consumed alcohol and was driving without obtaining a license when he hit Haywood and fled. The badly damaged 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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