Hillsboro man gets 8 years for vehicular assault


By Sarah Allen - For The Times-Gazette



A total of four defendants were sentenced to prison this week in Highland County Common Pleas Court, including a Hillsboro man who must serve eight years on aggravated vehicular assault charges.

According to court records, Charles Burns, 46, Hillsboro, pled guilty to four counts of aggravated vehicular assault, all third-degree felonies.

The Times-Gazette previously reported that the charges stemmed from an August 2015 crash. Branden Jackman, public information officer for the Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District, said at the time that the wreck happened on SR 73 south of Hillsboro near Prospect Road. Three people were flown by medical helicopter due to the extent of the injuries.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol handled the crash, and trooper Chris Crisafi said at the time that Burns was traveling southbound on SR 73 and his vehicle went left of center, hitting head-on a vehicle driven by Wayne Barnes, 60, also of Hillsboro.

Along with the two drivers, there were three passengers in Barnes’ vehicle. Crisafi said that all five occupants suffered “incapacitating injuries” that were “very serious.”

According to the OSHP, two victims were transported to Highland District Hospital and the other three were flown by medical helicopter. Those three included Burns and two juveniles from Barnes’ vehicle.

On Wednesday, Burns was sentenced to 24 months on each count, all running consecutively to each other, records showed. Burns’ license was also “suspended for 10 years on each count concurrently upon completion of (his) sentence,” records stated.

In other cases, a jury returned a guilty verdict for Donald L. McKenzie, 39, Hillsboro, on third-degree felony illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs. He was sentenced to 36 months in prison, records showed.

Also sentenced to prison was Johnny D. Branham, 34, Hillsboro. Records showed that he pled guilty this week to attempted illegal manufacture of drugs and illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs, all third degree felonies. According to records, he was sentenced to 36 months in prison.

Records showed that Derek James Kimmey, 20, Hillsboro, also received a prison sentence. He entered a plea of guilty and was sentenced to 18 months in prison on third-degree felony illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs.

Also this week, Brian L. Nicely, 53, Hillsboro, appeared in common pleas court for both a sentencing and a final pretrial.

Records showed that Nicely previously pled guilty to third-degree felony possession of marijuana in August. This week, he was sentenced to three years of community control. He must complete a treatment program.

In Nicely’s other case, he pled guilty to third-degree felony possession of marijuana and fifth-degree felony possession of criminal tools, records showed. He was placed on community control and ordered to complete the STAR program.

Finally, Christina Davis, 23, Lynchburg, also appeared for sentencing this week. According to records, she was placed on community control for three years on fifth-degree felony breaking and entering. Davis must also complete the STAR program.

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By Sarah Allen

For The Times-Gazette

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