On Tuesday, Howard pleaded guilty in Butler County Common Pleas Court to a lower charge of third-degree aggravated vehicular homicide and OVI. He faces up to 60 months in prison and a possible lifetime driver’s license suspension. He could also be sentenced to 180 days in jail for the OVI charge.
Judge Jennifer McElfresh set sentencing for Aug. 29.
During a preliminary hearing in October in Butler County Area III Court, an Ohio state trooper testified he was parked in the median of the northbound lanes watching traffic early on the morning of Oct. 22, 2018 when a vehicle pulled up to report the incident. The occupants reported there was a body in the road on the southbound side.
The trooper then went to the scene and found Sharp in the road and Howard in his Acura pulled to the side of the interstate.
Howard was sitting in the driver’s seat, according to the trooper. Officials indicated Howard’s speech was slow and slurred.
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Initially, Howard said he had not been consuming alcohol, according to the trooper. But later, Howard said he last consumed an alcoholic beverage at 1 a.m., the trooper said.
An investigator for the Ohio State Highway Patrol, testified that witness testimony as well as ODOT camera footage indicate Howard’s vehicle was speeding seconds before the crash occurred.
Sharp worked at Steelcraft in Blue Ash and often stayed with his girlfriend in Middletown, according to family members. He was heading to work at the time of the accident, his family said.
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