The trial for a 19-year-old local man indicted for an alleged hit-and-run accident that killed a Washington C.H. man has been delayed due to an upcoming suppression hearing.
Elijah A. Stanforth now has a suppression hearing scheduled for May 7 and a jury trial set for for July 2 in Fayette County Common Pleas Court. On April 17, Stanforth’s attorneys, L. Patrick Mulligan and Associates, made a motion requesting the suppression of any and all statements obtained from Stanforth, as well as any evidence derived from those statements, on the grounds that he was “subjected to custodial interrogation without being advised of his Miranda rights in violation of the United States and Ohio Constitutions.”
Judge Steven Beathard granted a suppression hearing for May 7, which was originally the date scheduled for trial.
Stanforth is facing a third-degree felony charge of failure to stop after an accident and a first-degree misdemeanor count of vehicular homicide.
Just after 7:30 a.m. on Oct. 14, the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) received a call from a passing motorist reporting a male in the ditch area in front of Heritage Memorial Church, located in the 1800 block of Old Route 35 NW in Washington C.H. The man was found deceased in the ditch on the south side of the roadway.
The man was identified as 44-year-old Thomas Ketcher, who was pronounced dead at the scene by the Fayette County Coroner’s Office.
During the course of the investigation, the FCSO received a tip concerning the possible whereabouts of a vehicle involved in the fatal crash. Detectives located a black Ford Fusion with damage to the windshield and passenger side at a residence on South Jackson Street in Sabina, according to Sheriff Vernon Stanforth.
The FCSO alleges that Elijah Stanforth was the driver of the vehicle at the time of the crash. He was reportedly heading east on Old Route 35 NW at approximately 3 a.m. Oct. 14, accidentally struck Ketcher on the road, and left the scene without reporting the crash.
An indictment was filed in December, but the location where Stanforth was residing was not discovered by authorities until January. Stanforth was summoned to court at that time.
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica