A central Toledo man charged with a fatal red-light collision nearly a year ago in West Toledo pleaded no contest Friday to aggravated vehicular homicide and will be sentenced Tuesday.
Miguel Hamilton, 35, of 1210 Peck St., could also face lifetime suspension of his driver's license and be ordered to pay restitution for funeral expenses to the family of victim Joseph Bialecki, Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Frederick McDonald said after finding him guilty in the crash and an unrelated evidence-tampering charge.
Mr. Bialecki, then 31 and of Toledo, was westbound on Sylvania Avenue at about 2:20 p.m. on Nov. 13 when a northbound vehicle on Detroit Avenue ran a red light and broadsided his car in the driver's side door, causing fatal injuries.
“Mr. Bialecki had the right-of-way and the posted speed limit approaching the intersection was 35 mph,” Andy Lastra, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor, said Friday in court. “This defendant collided with the driver’s side of Mr. Bialecki’s vehicle at 48 mph as he went through the red light.”
While the collision case was pending, Hamilton was arrested July 12 following his involvement in a fight and, during his booking at the county jail, officers discovered him trying to swallow a packet containing 2.93 grams of cocaine and 0.65 grams of heroin that had been hidden on his body.
Originally charged with cocaine possession, cocaine trafficking, heroin possession, illegal conveyance of drugs into a detention facility, and tampering with evidence, Hamilton pleaded no contest to the tampering charge, with the other counts dismissed. Also to be dismissed under a plea agreement is a second, alternate count of aggravated vehicular homicide.
Judge McDonald said the agreement specifies a four-year prison term for the homicide count and one year for evidence tampering, but he will decide Tuesday whether the sentences will be consecutive or concurrent. Mr. Lastra said Mr. Bialecki's relatives plan to attend the sentencing and had consented to the plea deal.