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Published: Friday, 1/5/2001

Man receives 4-year term for fatal crash


Kenneth Lesinski struggled to maintain his composure as he tried to express the pain he's felt since he killed his best friend in a traffic accident after a night of drinking.

Before being sentenced to four years in prison, Lesinski, 38, of 2102 South Ave., told Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Ruth Ann Franks that his friend, Robert Sanchez, was like a brother. “I've known Bobby since the first day we ran out of kindergarten together,” Lesinski said, fighting back tears. “He was there for me, and I was there for him.”

Judge Franks said she believed Lesinski was remorseful about the September accident, but that did not relieve him of responsibility. “I agree with you that you didn't get behind the wheel to take the life of someone,” Judge Franks said.

She said Lesinski's record of six misdemeanor convictions, mostly for driving under the influence and domestic violence, contributed to his sentence.

Under a plea agreement with prosecutors, Lesinski's potential sentence of eight years was capped at four. His driver's license was revoked for life.

At last month's plea hearing, Jeffrey Lingo, an assistant county prosecutor, described the events that led up to Mr. Sanchez's death on Sept. 2.

He said Lesinski was driving his car about 30 to 40 mph when he struck the back of Mr. Sanchez's motorcycle.

Mr. Sanchez, 38, of 325 Chapin St., was stopped for a red light about 1:50 a.m. while heading west on Western at the intersection of the Anthony Wayne Trail when Lesinski struck the motorcycle.

Mr. Sanchez died about three hours later in Medical College of Ohio Hospitals.

Lesinski's blood-alcohol level was 0.17, above the legal limit of 0.10. Mr. Sanchez's blood-alcohol level was 0.16.

Mohamed Shousher, Lesinski's attorney, said his client is an alcoholic who needs treatment. Lesinski told the judge he had a drinking problem and that he had been getting counseling at the Lucas County jail.

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