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Published: Friday, 4/28/2006

Woman gets 4 years in prison for alcohol-related traffic death

BY MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A Toledo woman whose blood-alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit when she collided with another vehicle, killing a passenger, was sentenced yesterday to four years in prison.

Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Ruth Ann Franks said prison was appropriate for Voncile Bradley, 43, because it would give her the opportunity to restart her life.

Judge Franks imposed the sentence for an aggravated vehicular homicide conviction. Bradley also received a concurrent sentence of 11 months for attempted vehicular assault.

She pleaded no contest and was found guilty March 27 by Judge Franks.

Bradley previously was convicted of 24 misdemeanor crimes, including loitering, resisting arrest, criminal trespass, and drunken driving.

"If you valued yourself, you wouldn't have done these things," Judge Franks said.

In noting that her record was clean prior to 1984, Judge Franks asked if she could explain the decline. "That's when I started drinking," Bradley replied.

The defendant's niece, Lotina Saunders, 27, of City Park Avenue, died 10 days after the Sept. 16 accident at the Anthony Wayne Trail and City Park.

Bradley of 511 Bush St. was trying to turn west onto City Park when she went through a red light and collided with a WUPW-TV, Channel 36 sport utility vehicle.

Another passenger in her car, a 10-year-old niece, suffered a broken arm. They had gone with the defendant in her car to get dinner at a fast-food restaurant.

Authorities said Bradley's blood-alcohol content was 0.28 percent, more than three times the state's legal limit of 0.08 percent for motorists.

Judge Franks said the consumption of alcohol prior to the accident was excessive.

The judge urged Bradley to attend classes for college credit and participate in drug and alcohol programs while in prison.

"Preparation in your life has got to be what your focus should be," she said. "You can make the future be a positive thing."

Bradley's license to operate a vehicle in the state was suspended for 10 years.



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