Deputy pleads not guilty

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A Mahoning County Sheriff’s deputy facing drunken driving charges after a crash in Niles that sent a woman to the intensive care unit pleaded not guilty at his arraignment.

Amos B. Case, 31, entered the plea Thursday in Niles Municipal Court on a first-degree misdemeanor OVI charge and failing to leave an assured clear distance between his truck and the car police said he rear-ended at about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday at the intersection of North Road and U.S. Route 422 in Niles.

Case was released on his own recognizance and is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Aug. 16.

Case struck the car driven by Tracey Finney, 44, of Liberty, who remained Wednesday at Trumbull Memorial Hospital, but she is expected to recover. Her son, Raymond, was in the car when the crash occurred.

Raymond Finney told WKBN his mom struck her head on the steering wheel during the crash.

He said his mother lost her short-term memory and does not remember the accident.

Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene said Amos’ blood-alcohol content tested at 0.037, well below the legal limit of 0.08. Greene said Amos has been on medical leave since June and will refrain from discipline until Amos’ criminal case is completed.

Officers at the crash said Amos smelled like alcohol. Reports said Amos told them he had two or three drinks.

Reports said he was slow to respond to basic questions and had slurred speech. Officers noted Amos failed field sobriety tests. He swayed during tests, lost his balance, was unable to walk a straight line.

The report noted officers gave Amos a breathalyzer test about one hour after the crash.

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