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Woman charged with hit-skip crash that killed teacher

 
Woman charged with hit-skip crash that killed teacher
Posted Friday, November 15th 2013 @ 12pm  by WTVN Newsroom

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- Court records show a driver charged with involuntary manslaughter intends to plead guilty in a crash that killed a central Ohio teacher who was riding a bicycle.

Mary Kathryn Paul, 36, also was charged Friday in Delaware County with failing to stop after an accident.

"Both charges are felonies of the third degree. A combined total, under Ohio law, of six year sentence is possible," said Licking County Prosecutor Ken Oswalt. He was named a special prosecutor in the case.

A statement from Paul's attorney says words can't convey her grief over the tragedy.

The Westerville woman is charged in the death of Robert Lennon, a popular teacher and running coach at St. Francis DeSales High School. The 64-year-old Lennon was bicycling in Delaware County in September when he was struck by a passing driver and was left behind.

Many wondered why it took so long to charge Paul, who at first claimed she hit a deer before changing her story. She later admitted to driving the car that struck Lennon. Oswalt says that in cases like this there is a wide variety of charges that are possible.

"The question that we were looking is does this belong as a misdemeanor or does it belong as a felony? For me to rush to judgment and just say 'ok I have evidence that she's involved, let's arrest her' she might have got away with a misdemeanor," he said.

Court documents also revealed that Paul's father disposed of the windshield to her car in a dumpster at his business, however Oswalt says it doesn't appear that he will be charged.

"It's not a closed issue necessarily, but right now I do not believe it would be warranted as the evidence currently exists," he said.

Oswalt indicated the issue might have been what story the father was told when he threw the windshield away and whether or not he knew that the vehicle was used in a crime.

Reports from the coroner indicate Lennon died instantly. His sister, Jeanne Lennon, told reporters she was happy with how the case had been handled.

"We as a family agreed to the charges," she said.

Lennon says her brother was excited to get back on his bike and was considering retiring from his teaching job of more than 40 years.

"This was, I want to say unfortunate. Unnecessary is what I want to say. It shouldn't have happened," she said.

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