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Published: Thursday, 3/31/2005

19-year jail term appealed

An Ottawa County sheriff's deputy escorts Brian J. Woody, left, out of court after he was sentenced earlier this month. An Ottawa County sheriff's deputy escorts Brian J. Woody, left, out of court after he was sentenced earlier this month.

PORT CLINTON - The driver who caused a chain-reaction crash that killed six people last year on State Rt. 2 has appealed his 19-year prison sentence to Ohio's 6th District Court of Appeals.

Brian J. Woody, 29, of East Toledo filed an appeal Friday of the consecutive prison terms he received March 4 in Ottawa County Common Pleas Court from Judge Paul Moon.

The judge ordered Woody to serve consecutive three-year terms for each of six counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and a one-year consecutive term for a single count of aggravated vehicular assault.

At the time, Judge Moon said Woody deserved more than the minimum sentence because of the loss of life, his "reckless" behavior in drinking and taking drugs the day of the June 21 crash, and a previous driving record that was riddled with violations.

The crash killed Darryl K. Scott, 44, of Detroit; his girlfriend, Shannon Scott, 24, of Romulus, Mich., and his niece, Ariel Scott, 12, of Detroit. Sisters Alexis Howard, 9, and Alecia Howard, 7, of Eastpointe, Mich., both daughters of Mr. Scott, and Shannon Scott's niece, Amber Channey, 6, of Ypsilanti, Mich., also were killed.

Mr. Scott's daughter, Brandi Scott, 13, of Sterling Heights, Mich., survived the crash, but she suffered serious head and spinal injuries.

The victims were bound for Detroit in a sport utility vehicle after a day at the Cedar Point amusement park when the accident occurred shortly before midnight.

The Ohio Highway Patrol said Woody's westbound Chevrolet Blazer swerved left of center and hit the tractor-trailer's left front corner.

Witnesses said the impact caused the semi to spin and clip a Toyota Corolla in the left rear before smashing head-on into the Cadillac Escalade carrying the victims.

During the sentencing hearing, Woody's defense attorney, Adrian Cimerman of Toledo, cited decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court and a recent ruling by Ohio's 1st District Court of Appeals as requiring the defendant, as someone who had never served time in prison, to receive concurrent, one-year sentences for the aggravated vehicular homicide convictions.

Spiros Cocoves, a Toledo attorney who is representing Woody in his appeal, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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