Halfhill indicted for crash deaths

By Sarah Hawley

POMEROY — A Meigs County man is facing several charges in connection with the motor vehicle death of two people last month near Chester.

Austin R. Halfhill, 23, of Pomeroy was indicted on Tuesday by a Meigs County Grand Jury on nine charges, including two first-degree felony charges of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide.

Halfhill is alleged to have been the driver of a vehicle which went left of center and struck a motorcycle driven by John McElfresh, 62, of Glouster on Aug. 4 on State Route 7 near Chester. McElfresh was killed in the crash, as was passenger Brenda Suttle, 59, of Crooksville, who’s body was found the day after the crash.

Halfhill is charged with two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, felonies of the first degree; two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, felonies of the second degree; two counts of vehicular manslaughter, misdemeanors of the first degree; and three counts of operating a vehicle while under the influence, misdemeanors of the first degree.

According to Meigs County Prosecutor James K. Stanley, “Halfhill is alleged to have presented with indicia of being under the influence of a control substance after the crash and is alleged to have admitted using methamphetamine and buprenorphine before the crash. A subsequent urine analysis allegedly indicated the presence of methamphetamine, amphetamine, and buprenorphine in Halfhill’s system at the time of the crash. Halfhill is also alleged to have been operating his motor vehicle with a suspended license.”

The Ohio State Highway Patrol investigated this matter, and the Chester Volunteer Fire Department, Meigs EMS, and the Meigs County Coroner’s Office assisted at the scene.

Halfhill has been held on a $250,000 bond since the crash. He was initially charged in Meigs County Court with one count of aggravated vehicular homicide, a felony of the second degree. The case was bound over from county court to common pleas court for grand jury consideration, leading to the filing of the indictment on Tuesday.

Halfhill is scheduled to be arraigned at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday.


By Sarah Hawley

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.