Guilty plea on one of several counts in fatality

STEUBENVILLE -A man indicted by the Jefferson County grand jury in connection with a fatal accident pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated vehicular homicide but pleaded innocent to other charges during an arraignment Wednesday.

Robert W. Hall, 22, of 17401 state Route 152, Toronto, was indicted on two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and single counts of failure to stop after an accident and operating a vehicle under the influence following a fatal accident on Dec. 18.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol reported Hall was driving a 2002 Subaru westbound on county Road 47 at approximately 2:20 a.m. on Dec. 18 when he failed to maintain control and slid off the road hitting a tree.

The Subaru overturned after it hit the tree and Adam D. Matthews, 22, 1108 Midway St., Empire, was ejected from the vehicle. Hall and a second passenger in the Subaru, Zachary T. Michael, 21 of Steubenville fled the scene in the Subaru for a short distance, the patrol reported.

About five minutes later, a 1998 Fort Escort driven by William J. Warren, 22 of 1271 Jewett Road, Toronto was westbound on county Road 47 when he struck Matthews who was laying in the road, the patrol reported. Matthews died from blunt force trauma, according to the patrol.

Hall pleaded guilty before Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge David Henderson during arraignments Wednesday to a third-degree felony count of aggravated vehicular homicide. The other count of aggravated vehicular homicide is a second-degree felony, which calls for a mandatory prison term. That count is based on Hall allegedly driving while intoxicated. He pleaded innocent to that charge, as well as the other counts charging failure to stop after an accident and operating a vehicle under the influence.

Hall’s attorney, Aaron Miller, asked Henderson to set a sentencing hearing but the case was assigned at the arraignment to Common Pleas Judge Joseph Bruzzese Jr.