Hamilton man pleads not guilty in fatal pedestrian crash

A Hamilton man who was the driver of a truck that police say hit two pedestrians in Hamilton, killing one, pleaded not guilty today to multiple felony charges including aggravated vehicular homicide.

Steven James Rogers, 59, who has been in the Butler County Jail since the fatal crash Nov. 9, is facing two counts of aggravated possession of drugs, aggravated vehicular assault, operating a vehicle under the influence, operation of a motor vehicle under points suspension, failure to stop after an accident, operating a vehicle under the influence of methamphetamine, and operating a vehicle under the influence of cocaine metabolite, in addition to the aggravated vehicular homicide charge.

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Rogers’ attorney Richard Hyde entered not guilty pleas on his client’s behalf during arraignment in Butler County Common Pleas Court. Judge Keith Spaeth continued bond of $180,0o0 set in municipal court and scheduled a pretrial hearing for Feb. 15.

Three people — a man pushing a baby in a stroller and two women, including 18-year-old Allison Reyes Castillo — were walking west across the 500 block of Martin Luther King Boulevard at about 7:45 p.m. on Nov. 9 when both women were hit in the southbound lane, according to police.

Reyes Castillo died a short time later at Fort Hamilton Hospital. The other female pedestrian, Ann Marie Wagers, 38, was transported to University of Cincinnati Medical Center for treatment.

While officers were at the crash scene, dispatchers received a call about a red truck pulled over near Pershing Avenue with heavy damage.

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Rogers, the driver of that truck, was initially arrested and charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, aggravated vehicular assault, two counts of possession of drugs and operation of a vehicle under the influence.

Rogers was in possession of methamphetamine and suboxone strips at the time of the crash, according to police. Court documents reveal that Rogers has been arrested more than 70 times for various traffic, drug and other criminal offenses since 1990.

Family and friends of the victims were in court, many of them angry and crying. Rogers showed no emotion.

Wagers attended, but has a long road to recovery, she said.

Hyde declined comment after the hearing as did the victims’ family.

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