Plea deal made in vehicular homicide case

By Randa Wagner - [email protected]

By Randa Wagner

[email protected]

A Galion man appeared in Morrow County Common Pleas Court July 7 to change his plea in a 2013 vehicular homicide case.

Zachary G. Lunsford, accompanied by his attorney Robert Whitney, pleaded guilty to an amended charge of aggravated vehicular homicide and operating a motor vehicle under the influence in response to an accident July 22, 2013 that took the life of Kevin L. Fuhrer, also of Galion.

Lunsford told Judge Robert Hickson, Jr. he was the driver of a Pontiac Grand Prix that was northbound on State Route 309, when he failed to negotiate a turn and spun out of control. The vehicle struck a guardrail, overturned and struck several trees at about 12:59 a.m. Fuhrer, 26, and Lunsford, 20, were ejected from the vehicle. Fuhrer died en route to the hospital and Lunsford was taken by medical helicopter to Grant Medical Center in Columbus in serious condition.

Lunsford stated he had been drinking before the accident and accepted responsibility for the crash. Initially, it was not determined which man was driving at the time of the accident.

Lunsford was originally indicted in March of 2014 on six counts, including 2 counts of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, 2 counts of Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence, Operating a Motor Vehicle Under Suspension, and Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle (without consent of the owner).

Lunsford was arraigned April 4, 2014 and released on a personal recognizance bond of $100,000. Last Tuesday’s plea deal dismissed counts 3, 4, 5 and 6 in exchange for the first two counts, recommended to be served concurrently. Count one carries a possible 12-60 month prison sentence and fine up to $10,000, and count two carries jail time up to six months.

Sentencing is set for October 7, 2015 at 10 am in the north courtroom.

Reach Randa Wagner at 419-946-3010, ext. 1803 or on [email protected]