LIMA — In an unexpected turn of events Monday, a Louisiana man charged with drunk driving pleaded guilty in Allen County Common Pleas Court to seriously injuring another motorist through his actions.
Albert Shiflett Jr., 60, of Gonzales, Louisiana, accepted a negotiated offer from prosecutors that called for him to plead guilty to one count of aggravated vehicular assault, a third-degree felony, and a misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. A second OVI count was dismissed.
A recommended prison sentence of 42 months was agreed upon by prosecutors and Shiflett’s attorney, although Judge Terri Kohlrieser stressed that she was not bound by that agreement when Shiflett is sentenced Sept. 25.
Shiflett said little during Monday’s hearing except to answer questions from the judge. He spent much of the hearing with his head in his hands and later left the courtroom after his bond was extended until the time of sentencing.
According to a report from the Ohio State Highway Patrol, troopers were dispatched on the evening of May 19 to a two-vehicle traffic accident at the intersection of Eastown Road and Allentown Road.
Troopers later determined that a vehicle driven by Shiflett had rear-ended a vehicle driven by Loni Reed, 34. Reed suffered serious injuries, including a fractured vertebra, upper jaw fracture, broken teeth and fractured ribs. She was transferred to OSU-Wexner Medical Center for treatment.
Shiflett was transported to a Lima hospital, where he was questioned by troopers. The report stated the smell of alcohol was prevalent when police walked into the man’s hospital room.
Shiflett told investigators he was uncertain what had happened during the crash. The police officer noted Shiflett’s speech slurred and his eyes appeared bloodshot and glassy.
It was noted in court Monday that Reed is still suffering from the injuries she suffered in the crash.