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Published: Monday, 4/19/2010

Rossford man gets another 4 years in prison for 2006 death of bicyclist

BLADE STAFF

BOWLING GREEN - A Rossford man who struck and killed a bicyclist on West River Road in 2006 pleaded guilty Monday to three charges remaining in the case.

David O'Neill, 65, was then sentenced to four years in prison to be served on top of the four years he already has been serving for failure to stop after an accident.

Wood County Common Pleas Judge Alan Mayberry also suspended O'Neill's driver's license for life and ordered him to pay $415 restitution to cover the costs of a witness who flew here for O'Neill's trial, which was to begin Monday morning.

Potential jurors had reported to the court at 8:30 a.m. when O'Neill arrived in prison garb and entered into a plea agreement that had previously been offered by the prosecutor's office.

He pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide, aggravated vehicular assault, and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Prosecutors recommended a four-year sentence.

Dr. Stephen Snedden, 47, of Perrysburg, was killed in the crash, which injured his friend and fellow cyclist George Haig, a former Perrysburg resident. The two men and another friend were bicycling in January, 2006 on State Rt. 65 just north of Five Point Road when they were struck by a passing vehicle which did not stop.

In July, 2006, Judge Mayberry sentenced O'Neill to a total of 12 years in prison after he pleaded no contest to the four charges, but his convictions on all but the charge of failure to stop after an accident were overturned by the 6th District Court of Appeals in 2008.

The appeals court found that the results of O'Neill's blood-alcohol test should have been suppressed.

Gwen Howe-Gebers, chief assistant prosecutor, said even without the blood test results, prosecutors felt they had sufficient evidence to prove the charges.



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