Shira Seymour pleads guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide

Jan. 3, 2014

CHILLICOTHE — A Bainbridge woman charged in connection with a July 4 head-on crash that killed a local attorney pleaded guilty Thursday to aggravated vehicular homicide.

Shira B. Seymour, 36, was set to have a pretrial hearing Thursday when she entered the plea “without any plea deal on the table,” said Ross County Prosecutor Matt Schmidt.

Seymour was indicted in October by a Ross County grand jury on three counts of aggravated vehicular homicide. The charges alleged Seymour was driving drunk on U.S. 50 about a mile west of Slate Mills when she crashed her SUV head-on into another SUV driven by 36-year-old Annie Rooney, who was returning home from Bainbridge, where she had borrowed a bicycle from a friend.

Seymour on Thursday pleaded guilty to one of the three counts. By doing so, Schmidt said, “the other (two) counts merge into it.” Seymour faces a potential sentence of two to eight years in prison. She’s scheduled to be sentenced at 1 p.m. Feb. 11.

Rooney’s brother, Walt Rooney, said Seymour’s plea is another step toward what matters most to his family at this point — the sentencing.

“That’s our chance to talk directly to the judge and let him know how this has impacted our family,” Rooney said. “This is still brutal for all of us.”

Rooney said the family will ask for the maximum sentence of eight years.

Although seriously injured herself that night, Seymour was conscious at the scene and allegedly told an Ohio Highway Patrol trooper that she had “plenty” to drink. A patrol report released in August revealed lab analysis indicating Seymour’s blood alcohol content was about twice the legal limit.

Online court records show Seymour does not have a felony record, but she has had at least three misdemeanor charges of operating a vehicle impaired filed against her that were reduced in Chillicothe Municipal Court.

In 2008, Seymour pleaded guilty to physical control, a reduction from an operating a vehicle impaired, and she had two OVI cases — one involving marijuana metabolites — that were dismissed in 2012 after she pleaded guilty to failure to control. She also had a 2011 hit-skip charge that was dismissed after she pleaded guilty to failure to yield.

Seymour’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles driving history shows she had an OVI conviction out of Athens Municipal Court in 1997. The report also indicates she has had her license suspended three times — from Jan. 4, 1997, to Jan. 24, 1997, which was modified to March 27, 1997, and March 12, 2008, to March 12, 2009, both of which were considered an administrative license suspension.

The most recent suspension was an overlapping noncompliance and financial responsibility suspension from July 18, 2008, to July 18, 2011.

This entry was posted on January 3, 2014. Bookmark the permalink.