GREENVILLE — A Versailles man was sentenced to 44 days in jail after pleading guilty to drunk driving and causing a serious head-on collision.
Nevin Benedict, 38, appeared in Darke County Common Pleas Court Friday. He was originally charged with third- and fourth-degree felony counts of Aggravated Vehicular Assault, as well as a first-degree misdemeanor charge of Driving While Under the Influence.
Benedict was charged following an October 29, 2016, accident in which he was traveling northbound on State Rout 185. His vehicle traveled off the right side of the road, hitting multiple mailboxes. Benedict then overcorrected, striking head-on a vehicle driven by Terry J. Meade of Bradford. Both men were treated for injuries.
As part of a plea agreement with the Darke County Prosecutor’s Office, the third-degree felony count against Benedict was dropped.
Assistant Prosecutor James Bennett asked the court to sentence Benedict to 180 days in jail with 120 days suspended, resulting in a 60-day sentence. The prosecution also sought suspension of driving privileges and five years of community control, plus restitution.
Defense Attorney Patrick Flanagan sought probation for his client, pointing out that his client was gainfully employed as a business owner and claiming he would not likely reoffend.
“He is a very good person, your honor. He is not a criminal,” Flanagan said.
Benedict expressed remorse for his actions and asked Common Pleas Court Judge Jonathan Hein to allow him to keep working.
“I feel I’d be better off out working instead of spending time in jail,” he said.
Judge Hein, citing Benedict’s prior DUI convictions in 2004 and 2000, urged him to accept the fact he has an issue with alcohol.
“You were clean for 10 years, then you jump right back in, which proves you can’t get beyond it,” said Hein. “You thought you were beyond it — that’s just wrong logic.”
In addition to the 44 days in jail with work release, Benedict was ordered to pay a fine of $1,350, $154.99 in restitution to the victim for medication costs, pay court costs, be subject to five years of community control, serve 100 hours of community service, and submit to a mandatory three-year license suspension, with work driving privileges. Benedict further faces payment of restitution to the victim in civil court.
Two others were also sentenced in court Friday.
James Bingham, 61, of Greenville, received a suspended nine-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to a fifth-degree felony count of Trafficking Cocaine. He was ordered to be on five years of community control, serve 75 hours of community service, pay $405 in restitution, and court costs.
Scott Sheffer, 42, of New Madison, received a sentence of 60 days in jail with 58 days suspended after pleading guilty to a first-degree misdemeanor charge of Domestic Violence. He will have five years of community control, payment of court costs, and must serve 25 hours of community service.
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