LIMA – An Arizona man who police say was under the influence of alcohol when he was involved in a two-vehicle traffic accident that claimed the life of a young Michigan man has waived his right to a speedy trial.
Prosecutors say John Robinson, 64, of Phoenix, was traveling the wrong direction on Interstate 75 at the time of the crash that took place just before midnight May 2 near Beaverdam.
Robinson is being held in the Allen County jail under a $1 million bond after being indicted by a grand jury on one second-degree felony count of aggravated vehicular homicide; four third-degree felony counts of aggravated vehicular assault; and two counts of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, first-degree misdemeanors.
Robinson appeared in Allen County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday to formally waive his constitutional right to a speedy trial.
The May crash claimed the life of Christopher M. Watson, 15, of Ypsilanti, Michigan, who reportedly was returning with his family from a vacation to Walt Disney World in Florida when the accident occurred.
According to a report from the Lima post of the Ohio Highway Patrol, Robinson’s vehicle entered I-75 from the Beaverdam exit and began traveling southbound in the northbound lane of the interstate. His vehicle struck a Ford Explorer driven by Richard Watson, 44, of Ypsilanti.
Christopher M. Watson, 15, was pronounced dead at the scene by an investigator from the Allen County Coroner’s Office.
There were four other passengers in the Watson vehicle in addition to the driver, who was transported to Mercy Health-St. Rita’s by Beaverdam EMS with non-life threatening injuries.
A crash report authored by Trooper Michael Kinsinger of the Lima post of the Ohio Highway Patrol said Robinson had “an odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath” and admitted he had consumed alcohol earlier in the evening.
During Tuesday’s hearing, defense attorney Steve Chamberlain said that additional time in needed to prepare for trial “due to the nature of the charges and the potential penalties” faced by his client. A jury trial for Robinson was scheduled for Oct. 1.
Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.