Elijah A. Stanforth has been found guilty of the Oct. 14 hit-and-run accident that killed a Washington C.H. man.
Following a trial in Fayette County Common Pleas Court that began Tuesday, on Wednesday morning the jury found Stanforth, 20, guilty of failure to stop after an accident, a third-degree felony. The jury deliberated for approximately an hour. Sean Abbott, an assistant prosecuting attorney for the Fayette County Prosecutor’s Office, tried the case for the state.
Stanforth is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 7. Fayette County Prosecutor Jess Weade said his office will be recommending prison time.
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 determined 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.