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Published: Wednesday, 3/3/2004

Motorcyclist's death gets driver 3 years

A Toledo man was sentenced yesterday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court to three years in prison for the alcohol-related accident on I-75 last year that killed a 23-year-old motorcyclist.

Robert B. Alexander, 42, of 1823 Berkshire Place, was sentenced by Judge Frederick McDonald, who also imposed lifetime driver's license suspension.

Alexander, 42, and the victim, Jason Scheuerman, of Feltis Drive, Temperance, were merging into traffic on northbound I-75 from the 14th Street entrance ramp when Alexander struck the motorcycle from behind.

Mr. Scheuerman was dragged several hundred feet under Alexander's car. Alexander's blood-alcohol content was 0.243 percent, three times the legal limit in Ohio of 0.08 percent.

Alexander pleaded no contest Jan. 27 to aggravated vehicular homicide, and prosecutors agreed to ask Judge McDonald to sentence Alexander to no more than five years in prison.

“What the defendant did do was drive drunk and create an extremely dangerous situation,” Judge McDonald said.

In sentencing Alexander, Judge McDonald said the defendant was terminally ill, but he did not elaborate further. Alexander's attorney, Alan Konop, said his client was “seriously ill.”

Tim Westrick, an assistant county prosecutor, said Alexander was arrested in 1993 and 1995 for drunk driving, but in both instances the charges were reduced to reckless operation. He was placed on probation for three years for the first offense and served three days in a DUI program for the second conviction.

In June, just two months before the fatal accident, Alexander was arrested for intoxication and disorderly conduct. The case was amended to disorderly conduct, Mr. Westrick said.

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