A new trial was set for a man charged with aggravated vehicular assault after the court failed to inform him that he faced a mandatory prison sentence.
Weston E. Porter, 27, appeared in the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas Monday for sentencing but an Order Vacating Plea and Setting New Trial was filed instead.
According to the court, the Grove City man plead guilty April 10 to aggravated vehicular assault, a felony of the third degree, and driving under suspension, a misdemeanor of the first degree. Porter was never informed that by entering a plea of guilty he faced a mandatory prison sentence. Under Ohio law, Porter faces a mandatory term because he had a suspended driver’s license when the accident occurred.
The guilty plea was vacated and a new trial was established in the case with the first pre-trial scheduled Monday, June 5.
Porter was indicted last year by a Fayette County grand jury after he allegedly ran a stop sign and hit a truck. The accident reportedly occurred at the intersection of State Route 753 and Bogus Road in Wayne Township Dec. 13, 2015.
According to reports, Porter was driving under the influence of benzodoazepines, opiates and cocaine at the time of the crash.
The driver of the truck that was struck was not restrained by a safety belt, reports said, and suffered thoracic spine fractures and several rib fractures. Both Porter and the driver of the truck were taken to the emergency room. The driver’s condition was stabilized in the ICU.
Records in the case file indicate that Porter later went through drug treatment, was placed on the Vivitrol shot, and was negative for substances in drug screens throughout treatment.
Ashley may be contacted by calling her at (740) 313-0355 or by searching Twitter.com for @ashbunton