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Ohio Woman Charged with Vehicular Homicide and Murder

An Ohio woman struck a man with her vehicle, and the man died.  The woman, Brooklyn Maxine Frazie, was charged with Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, Operating a Vehicle under the Influence (‘OVI’-Ohio’s term for DUI), Murder, Aggravated Murder, and other offenses.  When a person’s driving causes the death of another person, it is common for that person to be charged with Aggravated Vehicular Homicide.  It is unusual, however, for these incidents to lead to charges of Murder and Aggravated Murder.  While all off these charges allege that Frazie caused the death of another person (Darrell Donahoe), the elements and penalties for the offenses are different.

Vehicular Homicide Compared to Murder
Frazie was charged with two different types of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, two types of Murder, and Aggravated Murder.  While those offenses all involve causing the death of another person, the offenses have different elements which must be proven by the prosecution.

For the first charge of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, the prosecution must prove Frazie caused the death of Donahoe as the proximate result of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.  For the second charge of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, the prosecution must prove Frazie caused the death of Donahoe while operating a vehicle recklessly.

For the first charge of Murder, the prosecution must prove Frazie purposely caused the death of Donahoe.  For the second charge of Murder, the prosecution must prove Frazie caused the death of Donahoe as a proximate cause of committing a felony offense of violence.  For the charge of Aggravated Murder, the prosecution must prove Frazie purposely caused the death of Donahoe with prior calculation and design.

Sentences for the Alleged Offenses
If Aggravated Vehicular Homicide is committed by operating a vehicle under the influence, the offense is punishable by up to eight years in prison and a lifetime driver’s license suspension.  If Aggravated Vehicular Homicide is convicted by operating a vehicle recklessly, the offense is punishable by up to five years in prison and a driver’s license suspension for three years to life.  For the charges of Murder, the sentence is imprisonment for 15 years to life.  For the charge of Aggravated Murder, the sentence is imprisonment for life (with or without parole eligibility).

Why This Incident Resulted in Murder Charges
According to a press release issued by the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office, Frazie and Donahoe got into an argument, and Donahoe left on his motorcycle.  Frazie, driving an SUV, chased Donahoe at a high rate of speed for several miles.  Frazie struck Donahoe, ran over him, dragged him, then ran over him again.  Donahoe was taken to a hospital where he died from his injuries.

Given those alleged facts, it is evident why Frazie was charged with Murder and Aggravated Murder, in addition to Aggravated Vehicular Homicide.  To charge Frazie with these offenses, the grand jury concluded there was probable cause to believe Frazie committed the offenses.  To convict Frazie of the charges, the prosecution must prove all elements of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

About the Author:  Shawn Dominy is a leading OVI lawyer in Ohio and the founder of the Dominy Law Firm in Columbus, Ohio.  He can be reached through his law firm’s website:  Dominy Law Firm.

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Shawn Dominy

Shawn Dominy

Shawn Dominy is a DUI/OVI lawyer in Columbus, Ohio. He is the former President of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the state delegate to the National College for DUI Defense and a long-time member of the National Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers. Shawn Dominy authored the books 'Ohio DUI/OVI Guide', 'Ohio Vehicular Homicide Guide', and 'Ohio Vehicular Assault Guide' (Rivers Edge Publishing) and wrote a chapter in the book 'Defending Vehicular Homicide Cases' (Aspatore Publishing, 2012). He has several other published articles, and he speaks regularly at seminars teaching other lawyers about DUI/OVI. Shawn was named by SuperLawyers® as one of the top 50 lawyers in Columbus, Ohio, and he is listed as one of the 'Best Lawyers in America'® for DUI Defense. Shawn is a lifelong resident of central Ohio: he graduated from Olentangy High School and earned his bachelor’s degree and juris doctor from The Ohio State University. His office is in Columbus, and he lives in Powell with his wife and daughter. He serves with local community organizations, volunteers regularly at his church, and plays regularly with his German Shepherd. For more information, Shawn’s website is www.dominylaw.com, his blog is www.columbusoviattorneyblog.com,

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