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Bosel’s plea deal falls apart

CANFIELD — Columbiana County Recorder Theresa Bosel’s plea deal in a traffic fatality case fell apart after the prosecutor insisted she undergo an evaluation to determine her future driving status.

The purpose of Friday’s hearing in Mahoning County Municipal Court was for Bosel to officially accept a plea deal offered a month ago by pleading no contest to the charge of vehicular manslaughter in the August 2019 traffic accident that took the life of 69-year-old Cecil Chamberlain.

The charge is a misdemeanor, and under the terms of the plea deal the Mahoning County Prosecutor’s office was going to recommend Bosel be sentenced to 30 days’ house arrest and fined $500. Her license would be suspended for two years, but she could apply for restricted driving privileges during that period.

Just prior to yesterday’s hearing, defense attorney Edward Hartwig said assistant county prosecutor Mike McBride informed him he wanted to also require as part of the plea deal that Bosel undergo an examination through the Ohio Highway Patrol (OHP).

Hartwig said this was unacceptable. “We were prepared to move forward with the plea and then we came today and the terms of the plea agreement changed,” he said.

McBride said he and his boss agreed an additional condition be added requiring Bosel undergo an examination by the OHP “to determine if she should keep her license, or if that is not an issue or if it is an issue.”

“To be clear, this is a medical examination they’re asking for, right?” Hartwig said.

McBride said that is up to OHP but he indicated a medical examination could be ordered. “There’s an alleged blackout involved in it and we just want to make sure that’s not going to be a danger to any other drivers on the road,” he said.

The matter will now be scheduled for trial in early November.

The accident occurred just after 11 a.m. on Aug. 18, 2019. Bosel was driving on a two-lane road in Mahoning County when her Jeep Wrangler went left of center, striking a GMC Terrain and then the Ford Fusion driven by Chamberlain, who died from his injuries. Chamberlain’s wife, Roberta, was treated for injuries at a local hospital.

Neither the Bosel, the driver of the Terrain or a passenger in the Terrain were injured.

In her statement to the OHP, Bosel denied driving left of center. According to the report, Bosel had multiple prescriptions she takes as needed for pain related to her medical conditions, and she last took medication at 5 a.m. that day. Bosel passed the field sobriety tests administered at the scene by a trooper, but declined to provide a urine sample.

Bosel was up for re-election this year, but her candidacy petitions were invalidated after the county elections board determined she had improperly filled them out.

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