Pomeroy man charged in fatal crash

By Sarah Hawley - shawley@aimmediamidwest.com

POMEROY — A Pomeroy man who was allegedly involved in a crash which killed two people on a motorcycle on Sunday appeared in Meigs County Court on Tuesday afternoon.

Austin R. Halfhill, 22, of Pomeroy, is currently charged with one count of aggravated vehicular homicide, a felony of the second degree.

According to the charge read by Judge Michael Barr, Halfhill was alleged to have been driving under the influence at the time of the crash.

John N. McElfresh, 62, of Glouster, and Brenda Suttle, 59, of Crooksville, died as a result of the crash which occurred Sunday afternoon on State Route 7 near Chester. Suttle’s body was located on Monday near the initial crash site.

A news release from the Gallipolis Post of the Ohio State Highway stated that Halfhill allegedly traveled left of center striking McElfresh’s Harley Davidson motorcycle head-on.

Assistant Prosecutor Jeff Adkins requested bond for Halfhill to be set at $250,000 given the seriousness of the offense and possible charges when the case is presented to the grand jury. Adkins stated that Halfhill may have been driving under suspension at the time of the crash, a factor which could elevate the charges he faces. In addition, a second victim was located after the initial charge was filed. Adkins stated that Halfhill could potentially face two first-degree felony charges of aggravated vehicular homicide when the case is presented to a grand jury.

Judge Barr set bond at $250,000 as requested and scheduled a preliminary hearing in the case for Tuesday, Aug. 13 at 2 p.m., with Attorney Charles Knight appointed to represent Halfhill.

In an unrelated case, Halfhill was arraigned on a first-degree misdemeanor theft charge for a crime which allegedly occurred in February at the TP One Stop in Tuppers Plains. A not guilty plea to that charge was entered on his behalf, with a final pretrial to take place at 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

By Sarah Hawley


Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.