Man sentenced in 2002 accident

June 10, 2003|by CANDICE BOSELY

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The man convicted of crashing his sport utility vehicle into an off-duty state trooper's car more than a year ago was sentenced Monday to serve time in prison.

Aaron Curtis Lewis, 19, was sentenced to serve one to five years in prison for a felony charge of fleeing from an officer in a vehicle resulting in injury.

Lewis also was ordered to serve one year in prison for driving without insurance and one year for leaving the scene of an accident causing injury. For reckless driving, Lewis was ordered to serve 90 days in prison, along with 10 days for failure to render aid and another 10 days for failure to report an accident. He was ordered to pay a $100 fine for a charge of driving left of center.


All sentences will be served consecutively, Berkeley County Prosecutor Pamela Games-Neely said.

On March 12, a Berkeley County jury found Lewis guilty of eight charges in connection with the incident.

During Monday's hearing, Lewis told Berkeley County Circuit Judge David Sanders that he wanted to postpone the matter because he wanted a new attorney. Sanders denied that request.

Lewis slammed into West Virginia State Police Sgt. Scott Paugh's police cruiser at around 11 p.m. on May 29, 2002, on Golf Course Road. Paugh was heading home at the time.

Lewis fled on foot after the collision without attempting to help Paugh.

Paugh's arm, leg and head were injured. He suffers from permanent double vision, which forced him to retire from the state police.

Before the wreck, a Martinsburg City Police officer had briefly pursued Lewis, but stopped the chase at the city limits. The collision happened shortly afterward.

A man who admitted to riding with Lewis at the time, Jonathan Crawford, 24, testified during Lewis' trial in March. Crawford said speeds reached 75 to 80 mph and that both he and Lewis were peering over their shoulders, looking for the police car.

"As soon as we turned back around, that's when we hit the car," Crawford said.

Crawford said he hit his head and blacked out. When he awoke, Lewis was gone, he testified.

Lewis still faces several drug charges in U.S. District Court. He was remanded to federal custody after Monday's hearing, Games-Neely said.

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