Bay Co. Man Sentenced for DUI Deaths

By: News Release
By: News Release

A Youngstown man is headed to prison after pleading no contest to causing a deadly car crash while driving under the influence.

Circuit Judge James Fensom sentenced Jonathan Dillard to more than 20 years in prison Wednesday after accepting his plea to two counts of DUI manslaughter.

Assistant State Attorney Larry Basford told Fensom that he was prepared to prove at trial that Dillard, who will turn 24 on Jan. 22, of 9722 Campflowers Road, Youngstown, was driving June 9 after ingesting LSD. He was eastbound on Back Beach Road when he collided with a vehicle stopped in a turn lane waiting to go northbound on U.S. 79.

The impact killed MaryJo Anne Badali and Mary Elizabeth Birks.

Investigators estimated that Dillard’s vehicle was
traveling between 80 and 100 mph at the time of crash.

Dillard pleaded no contest to two counts of DUI manslaughter and one count each of possessing less than 20 grams of marijuana and resisting officers without violence.

Fensom adjudicated Dillard guilty and sentenced him according to the plea agreement to 243 months in prison.

Numerous members of Birks’ and Badali’s families filled rows of pews in the courtroom and Basford told Fensom that the families approved the plea.

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