Benny Jewett IV

Man pleads guilty in 2016 Dayton vehicular homicide case

A Dayton man pleaded guilty Monday to aggravated vehicular homicide in the 2016 crash of two vehicles fleeing separate attempted traffic stops.

Benny Jewett IV, 23, was to go on trial on six counts related to the May 7, 2016 death of Tyler Cross, 22, of Dayton. Cross was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Steven Swain.

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Instead, Jewett pleaded guilty to three counts — vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer — in exchange for three counts being dismissed.

Jewett is scheduled to be sentenced March 20.

Heroin was found in both vehicles, one of which was stolen, according to police accounts. A handgun also was found in one vehicle. The crash happened at Ruth and Jerome avenues.

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Dayton Maj. Matt Carper said in 2016 that out of concern for public safety, officers did not pursue either vehicle after they sped away from separate, attempted traffic stops.

The first attempted traffic stop was of a silver Toyota reported stolen out of Harrison Twp.

Carper said the Toyota nearly struck a police cruiser. The officer tried to stop the vehicle but it sped away and the officer did not pursue.

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Around the same time in a separate incident, police attempted to stop a gray Chrysler for minor traffic violations and it sped away. Carper said the officer did not pursue the Chrysler, which was a rental car with New York license plates.

The two cars collided when the Chrysler, heading north on Ruth Avenue, T-boned the silver Toyota, which was traveling at a high rate of speed eastbound on Jerome Avenue, Carper said then.

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