Anthony Howard was sentenced to four years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide for a crash on October that killed a Middletown man. FILE

Driver sentenced for October crash that killed Middletown man

Anthony Dwuan Howard, 35, was charged on Oct. 22, hours after the crash in West Chester Twp. A Butler County grand jury indicted Howard in February for a second-degree felony charge of aggravated vehicular homicide and a charge of operating a vehicle under the influence.

On Thursday, Judge Jennifer McElfresh sentenced Howard to four years in prison, and he was given a lifetime operator’s license suspension.

Investigators said Howard was driving impaired at the time of the crash, around 3:40 a.m., on southbound I-75. Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Clint Arnold said alcohol was a factor in the crash and other impairments were being tested at the time.

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Motorcyclist Timothy Sharp, 51, was pronounced dead at the scene. He died from multiple traumatic injuries, and his death was ruled an accident, according to the Butler County Coroner’s Office.

In July, Howard pleaded guilty in Butler County Common Pleas Court to a lower charge of third-degree aggravated vehicular homicide and OVI. He faced up to 60 months in prison and a possible lifetime driver’s license suspension. He could have also been sentenced to 180 days in jail for the OVI charge.

During a preliminary hearing in October in Butler County Area III Court, a 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.

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Howard was sitting in the driver’s seat, according to the trooper. Officials indicated Howard’s speech was slow and slurred.

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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