It’s a safe bet that Karen Suzanne Maddox won’t be texting while driving when she’s allowed to get behind the wheel of a car again.
Brown County Court of Common Pleas judge Scott T. Gusweiler sentenced Maddox on Aug. 25 to three years in the Ohio Department of Corrections, with the first 12 months mandatory, for a guilty verdict on one count of aggravated vehicular assault, a third-degree felony, and one count of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of them, a first-degree misdemeanor, according to a press release from the court of common pleas.
In addition to her prison sentence, Maddox must spend 180 days in the Brown County Adult Detention Center, of which she has already served 20 days. The court gave Maddox an operating license suspension for five years, the first two mandatory with no privileges and she must pay restitution. The court of common pleas will consider the STAR program for Maddox when she is released and she will be placed on a mandatory three years of post-release control when she’s released from prison.
According to documents filed with the Brown County Municipal Court, Maddox, 39, of Mt. Orab, was cited on Thursday, May 21, at 2:24 p.m. for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, operating a vehicle without reasonable control, and texting while driving in her 2012 Chrysler 200.
According to Brown County First Assistant Prosecutor Zac Corbin, just minutes before being cited, Maddox drove off the road and struck a female named Rhonda McGriffin, who was at a yard sale.
“She basically went off the road and struck a female who was just at a yard sale,” Corbin said. “She hit (McGriffin) in the front yard of a residential location. Maddox stopped her car briefly, didn’t get out, then I understand that she took off, turned left, made a couple of turns, then went off the road and struck a utility pole, knocking it down.”
Corbin said that Maddox was helped out of her car by some witnesses after crashing her car into the utility pole. Soon after, a Mt. Orab Police Department officer arrived on the scene and began interviewing witnesses and Maddox, piecing together the events of that afternoon.
Though Maddox refused to submit to a breathlyzer test, Corbin said they secured a warrant to test her blood level and Maddox’s blood level came in at .375, which is more than five times the legal limit of .07 grams by weight of alcohol per 100 milliliters of whole blood.
Corbin said that McGriffin continues to be in pain and is still receiving therapy to rehabilitate her injuries.
Maddox was indicted by the Brown County Court of Common Pleas on one count of aggravated vehicular assault, a third-degree felony, one count of failure to stop after an accident, a fifth-degree felony, and three counts of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of them, all first-degree misdemeanors on July 6. Maddox accepted a plea deal on Aug. 25, pleading guilty to the first and third counts, with the second, fourth, and fifth counts all being dropped.
As of press time, Maddox is currently incarcerated at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville, Ohio.
In four other separate, unrelated cases, Judge Gusweiler sentenced four individuals to prison.
Scott Bryan Dray, 31, of Bethel, was sentenced to four years in prison for a guilty verdict of domestic violence, a fourth-degree felony, and violating a protection order, a third-degree felony. The domestic violence charge came with a firearm specification, and a shotgun found on Dray’s person was confiscated as evidence. The court ordered Dray into three years of mandatory post-release control.
Samantha S. Watkins, 42, of Fayetteville, was sentenced to three years in prison for a guilty verdict of illegal manufacture of drugs, a second-degree felony, with three years of mandatory post-release control and a one year operating license suspension.
Chad William Calvin, 32, of Mt. Orab, was sentenced to two years in prison for a guilty verdict of aggravated trafficking in drugs, a third-degree felony. The court will consider judicial release into the STAR program after 90 days. The court suspended Calvin’s operating license for one year and advised Calvin that he could be placed on optional post-release control for three years.
Jerry T. Morgan, 37, of Hamilton, was sentenced to one year in prison for a guilty verdict of receiving stolen property, a fourth-degree felony, with an optional three years of post-release control.