Susan Adegboruwa’s life changed forever the day her only child died violently, she said in court Wednesday.
It was July 24, 2014 when Aaron T. Johnson led law enforcement on a chase that reached speeds of up to 103 miles per hour. He lost control of his vehicle and struck Agyasi J. Ector as he walked to work on the sidewalk next to Shiloh Springs Road in Trotwood.
Ector was 27.
Johnson, who turns 22 on Saturday, was sentenced by Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Dennis Adkins to 16 years in prison.
“Because of someone’s ignorance, negligence, thoughtlessness and complete disregard for the safety of others, Agyasi never made it to work,” Adegboruwa told Johnson at Wednesday’s sentencing. “He was killed instantly. I didn’t even get to say goodbye.”
Johnson reached a plea deal with prosecutors on April 15 to plead guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, weapons under disability and two counts of failure to comply with the order of a police officer. In exchange, prosecutors dropped a first-degree involuntary manslaughter charge.
Adkins also suspended Johnson’s driver’s license for life and ordered him to pay restitution of $1,500 and court costs. Johnson, who accrued 290 days of jail-time credit, will be on post-release control for three years after his mandatory sentence.
“I didn’t wake up (that day) with intention to do anything like this,”said Johnson, who apologized to Ector’s family. “I understand that I did make a mistake by fleeing from police … I’ve got to deal with this for the rest of my life.”
The vehicular assault charge related to Johnson’s passenger, a friend who asked for a ride and repeatedly pleaded with Johnson to stop the car. That man suffered serious leg injuries.
Johnson’s attorney, Michael Pentecost, said his client was remorseful and that Johnson did not have a warrant out for his arrest.
The high-speed police pursuit started in Harrison Twp. after law enforcement said Johnson assaulted two officers by hitting their cars. One Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office detective was disciplined for failure to file an operational plan for the failed sting operation set up to nab Johnson, who had a history of evading police.
“High-speed chases such as this are inherently dangerous for everyone involved,” Pentecost said. “As the adrenaline increases, the judgment decreases for everybody involved. I think it’s an opportunity for lessons to be learned.”
Prosecutors said heroin and two loaded handguns were found in Johnson’s vehicle.
“It seems as though you’ve dedicated your short life to satisfy your own needs and you’ve listened to no one,” said Adkins, who earlier had given Johnson intervention in lieu of conviction in previous drug possession case. “This is no one’s fault but your own.”
Pentecost had asked the judge for a low- to mid-range sentence. Prosecutors hoped for the maximum 22 years in prison.
“Tragically, Agyasi’s body was so twisted, broken, and mangled that it is difficult to express in words the magnitude of his injuries,” prosecutors Robert Deschler and Ward Barrentine wrote in a sentencing memorandum.
Adegboruwa said the crash scene haunts her day and night.
“I go through each day trying to smile and continue like I’m OK, but I’m not OK,” she said. “My soul hurts and my heart aches.”
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