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Multiple charges filed for Ravenna resident following accident

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LISBON — A Portage County man is facing aggravated vehicular homicide charges for causing the July fatal traffic accident that claimed the life of a Salem-area woman and left several other people injured.

Justin W. Stalnaker, 39, of Ravenna, was served this week with a secret indictment issued by the Columbiana County grand jury in connection with the July 27 death of Marlene A. Santini, 71. He is also charged with two counts of aggravated vehicular assault, three counts of assault, two counts of OVI and one count of possessing drug paraphernalia.

The accident occurred at 3:15 p.m. at the intersection of Georgetown and Westville Lake roads in Knox Township. Santini was a passenger in a 2003 Chevy Trailblazer driven by Dennis H. McCracken when Stalnaker reportedly ran a stop sign in his 2000 BMW and struck the SUV, which went off the road and overturned. Santini, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected.

The aggravated vehicular assault charges are for injuries caused to Lola M. Brown, 70, and Angela D. McCracken, 3, who were passengers in the SUV. Like the aggravated vehicular homicide charge, the aggravated vehicular assault charges are second-degree felonies.

The three assault charges, all misdemeanors, are for injuries sustained by three other SUV passenger: Mr. McCracken, 43; Nina L. Wirkner, 62; and Joanne M. McCracken, 42.

The OVI charges are for being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, with the drug in this case being methamphetamine. A glass pipe used to smoke drugs was found in Stalnaker’s possession, resulting in the drug paraphernalia charge.

The felony charges carry a combined maximum possible sentence of 24 years in prison. The combined maximum possible penalty for the misdemeanor offenses is 31 months in the county jail.

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