Power outage delays trial for teen driver in fatal Monroe prom crash

UPDATE@9:30 a.m.:

A bench trial in Butler County Juvenile Court for a 17-year-old Monroe student who was driving the car in a prom night crash that killed a classmate has been continued until next month.

The trial was scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. today, but icy weather knocked out power to parts of Hamilton, including the Butler County Juvenile Justice Center. The building is operating on back up generators, but is dimly lit.

Attorneys met with the judge and continued the case until Dec. 3.

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A bench trial is scheduled for Thursday in Butler County Juvenile Court for a 17-year-old Monroe student who was driving the car in a prom night crash that killed a classmate.

The teen is charged with aggravated vehicular homicide and two counts of aggravated vehicular assault. The case is scheduled to be decided by Judge Ronald Craft after evidence is presented.

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Last month during a final pre-trial hearing Melynda Cook Howard, one of the girl’s attorney, indicated to the judge that they intended to file a motion to have the trial closed to the public. But according to Rob Clevenger, juvenile court administrator, a formal motion for closure was not filed, so there will be no closure.

The teen has a previous citation through juvenile court for operating a vehicle without a driver’s license, according to court documents obtained by the Journal-News.

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The teen lost control of the 2013 Tesla she was driving April 28 along Millikin Road and struck a telephone pole, according to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.

Kaylie Jackson, 17, was a back-seat passenger at the time of the accident, sheriff's deputies said. She died a few days after the crash.

If convicted, the teen could be sentenced to the Juvenile Detention Center in Columbus until her 21st birthday, according to Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser.

In May, the teen was placed on house arrest. She also was ordered not to have any contact with the victims and their families and she surrendered her driver’s license, according to Rob Clevenger, court administrator.

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