Man pleads guilty to vehicular assault

A driver pleaded guilty to felony charges Monday stemming from an injury crash in February.

Julio R. Freeman, 27, pleaded guilty to two counts of vehicular assault, a third degree felony, and a first degree misdemeanor operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse or a combination of them.

Two counts of aggravated vehicular assault and one count of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse or a combination of them were dismissed.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Sept. 28.

The charges against Freeman stem from a Feb. 2 injury crash at 3263 U.S. Route 68. A vehicle was traveling southbound on South U.S. Route 68 and had slowed for a vehicle turning into a driveway when Freeman failed to slow down, crossing into the northbound lane of traffic and sideswiping the vehicle before continuing head-on into a vehicle driven by Jill D. Powell, of Springfield.

Powell’s vehicle flipped and landed on the driver’s side off the right side of the roadway.

CareFlight airlifted Powell to Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton. Norma J. Maute, a passenger in Powell’s vehicle, was transported to Springfield Regional Medical Center before being transported to Miami Valley Hospital.

Both Powell and Maute sustained serious injuries in the crash. The grand jury indictment contends Freeman was driving under a suspension imposed by law.

Earlier this year, a capias warrant was issued to apprehend Freeman after failing to appear for a March 16 arraignment hearing. A journal entry on this arraignment states that service at Freeman’s address listed on the summons on indictment was unsuccessful.

The hearing was continued until March 30 to allow more time to perfect service upon Freeman.

The hearing continued later that day after it was discovered that Freeman had received service after the conclusion of the initial hearing. The court ordered for a capias to be issued the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office to apprehend Freeman wherever he may be found and cause him to be brought before the court.

By Nick Walton

Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.