GREENVILLE — A New Paris man appeared Monday in Darke County Common Pleas Court to learn his fate for his role in an accident that caused the death of a Greenville woman last summer.
Aaron Holmes, 31, represented by defense attorney Kevin Lennen, entered into a plea agreement with the Darke County Prosecutor’s Office on four counts, including Felonious Assault, amended from Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, two counts of Aggravated Vehicular Assault, and one count of Driving Under the Influence.
On June 28, 2016, the vehicle Holmes was driving went left of center on State Route 571, just west of Greenville. He struck a vehicle driven by Ryan Sanders of Greenville. Sanders’ vehicle then struck a car driven by Linda Stebbins, 61, of Greenville.
Stebbins was pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger in her car, Jessica Keily of Union City, Ohio, was injured and transported to Miami Valley Hospital by CareFlight. Sanders was treated at Wayne HealthCare in Greenville. Holmes refused treatment at the scene.
The DUI count, stemming from an Oct. 14, 2016, arrest, was a later addition to the charges.
Family members of Stebbins were on hand during the proceedings. Shiela Yoder, a sister of the victim, told Holmes the family missed Stebbins dearly.
“Linda was a special somebody, and no one else can fill her place,” said Yoder, who told the defendant that, despite the accident, the family forgave him and hoped he could better himself.
Holmes made no statement to the family of the victim.
Common Pleas Court Judge Jonathan P. Hein sentenced Holmes on all counts to seven years in prison, with 74 days in jail credited, with five years suspended. He must serve a mandatory two-year sentence. If he fails to comply to the terms of his imprisonment or probation upon release, he could be returned to prison.
Holmes is also required to pay court costs, $375 for the DUI charge, $10,628 in restitution for the victim’s funeral costs, will be subject to five years of community control after release, and must perform 100 hours of community service. Holmes may also face a civil lawsuit.
“You can’t go back and fix this. No prison sentence fixes this,” said Hein.