July 23, 2016

Partly sunny

Manslaughter trial delays sentencing for stolen property

MEDINA — Sentencing for a 20-year-old West Virginia man convicted of receiving stolen checks has been held up pending the outcome of his trial on charges stemming from the hit-and-run killing of a motorcyclist.

Andrew J. Lester is accused of crashing a stolen Ford pickup into a Harley-Davidson motorcycle ridden by Michael Newman, 36, of Lodi. The crash occurred about 9 p.m. Aug. 18 in the 800 block of Lafayette Road.

Andrew Lester

Lester fled with a girl, who was traveling with him, to nearby woods where he was arrested, reports said.

Newman was sent to a hospital and released but died in October. County Prosecutor Dean Holman said in January that the autopsy showed Newman’s death was a result of the August crash.

A Medina County grand jury indicted Lester, charging him with involuntary manslaughter, a first-degree felony; failing to stop after a crash, a third-degree felony; vehicular homicide, a fourth-degree felony; and receiving stolen license plates, a fifth-degree felony.

Lester already had pleaded guilty to lesser charges stemming from the crash.

In the stolen check case, Lester, of Crab Orchard, W.Va., pleaded guilty in December to three counts of receiving stolen checks and interfering with custody. All four charges are fifth-degree felonies.

In delaying the sentencing, Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier said he wanted to handle both cases together.

The trial on the manslaughter charge is scheduled for April 22.

If convicted of all charges, Lester could face up to 22 years in prison.

Lester is being held in the county jail in lieu of a $700,000 cash bond.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.

Nick Glunt About Nick Glunt

Nick Glunt primarily covers courts and crime in Medina County. He served The Gazette from September 2012 to December 2015. Contact him at (330) 721-4048 or via email at nglunt@medina-gazette.com.