Woman Pleads to Killing Pedestrian While Drunk

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A Warren woman pleaded no contest Monday to charges that she fatally struck a 19-year-old father walking home from work while driving with more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in her system.

Debra Paden, 49, of Linda Drive N.W., was sentenced to six months in jail on charges of vehicular manslaughter and operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Paden will be on five years probation and is not allowed to visit liquor establishments when she is released.  She also lost her driver’s license for three years.

She entered her plea in Warren Municipal Court, where her case ended up after a Trumbull County grand jury did not believe the evidence rose to the felony level. She originally was charged with aggravated vehicular homicide.

She faced a 12-month maximum sentence on both charges.

Police said Paden’s breath test measured 0.168 blood-alcohol content, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08, when she fatally struck Joshua Kale about 12:30 a.m. March 17, 2012, while Kale was walking in the 1000 block of Riverview Avenue in Warren Township.

Kale, who was walking home from his job at the Sunrise Inn, died the next day at St. Elizabeth Health Center. Police said Kale was wearing a dark, hooded sweatshirt and was listening to headphones while crossing the street.

Reports state that despite the high blood-alcohol content, Paden was driving the posted 25 mph speed limit and was in her lane when the crash occurred. Kale was about a block from home when he crossed the street and was hit.

Reports state his body was found several yards away from where he was struck.

Paden, according to court records, has two past OVI charges, one from a Jan. 30, 2004, incident in Ravenna and another Jan. 21, 2010, in Warren Township.

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