LIMA — A Lima woman will spend the next three years in prison after pleading guilty Wednesday to running down a man with her vehicle earlier this year.
Bethany Gerding, 40, will also pay restitution in the amount of $53,874 to cover extensive medical bills incurred by her victim.
Gerding accepted a negotiated plea deal from prosecutors Wednesday and pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular assault, a third-degree felony; and one misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In return, the state agreed to dismiss a second-degree felony charge of felonious assault and another OVI count.
The charges stem from a June 9 incident at 1950 Brookwood Drive in Lima where Gerding intentionally struck a pedestrian with her vehicle. Upon responding to the scene, police found Brian Chambers, 21, lying unconscious on the ground. Chambers was transported by paramedics to a local hospital with serious injuries, according to court documents.
Prior to sentencing on Wednesday, Gerding acknowledged there was an ongoing dispute between her daughter and a woman she described as Chambers’ girlfriend. But the Lima woman told Judge Jeffrey Reed she was uncertain what happened in the moments before she rammed Chambers with her car.
“I remember him saying my daughter was saying something about his girlfriend on Snapchat. I was drunk and something upset me; I must have snapped,” Gerding told the judge. “I’m very sorry for what I did. He (Chambers) didn’t deserve this.”
Reed sentenced Gerding to a mandatory three-year prison term and suspended her drivers’ license for four years. She was fined $1,075.
Court records indicate that when Chambers went outside the residence to speak with Gerding and retrieve some of his belongings from her vehicle, the two began to argue. Gerding then climbed into her vehicle, backed it up and then intentionally struck Chambers as he stood on the sidewalk. The woman then fled the scene, according to documents.
Police located Gerding at her residence and took her into custody. She was found to be intoxicated, with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.099, according to the report. Ohio’s legal limit is 0.08 BAC.