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A judge on Monday sentenced a Ravenna Township woman to seven years in prison for ramming a Portage County sheriff's deputy's cruiser with her car during a chase through the township in November.
Brittany R. Clement, 23, of Sandra Drive, will serve the time for the Nov. 19 incident, during which she led deputies on a six-mile chase that started near Bridge and Ash streets in the township, and ended on S.R. 14 near Knapp Road.
Clement pleaded guilty in January to one count each of felonious assault on a law enforcement officer, a first-degree felony, failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, a third-degree felony, and operating a vehicle under the influence, a first-degree misdemeanor. Pittman gave her six years on the assault charge and one year on the failure to comply charge, to run consecutive to each other, and another 180 days in the Portage County jail to run concurrent to that sentence for the drunken driving charge.
Assistant Portage County Prosecutor Eric Finnegan recommended the maximum penalty of 14 years in prison. He said Deputy Wilson Kuzyk suffered minor injuries after Clement rammed his cruiser as he tried to pass her on S.R. 14 while he "tried to warn oncoming traffic" of her approach.
After tire-puncturing "stop sticks" were deployed, Clement's 2005 Nissan sedan continued leading deputies on a chase, which ended only when she struck a guardrail near the Ravenna Township-Edinburg border, Finnegan said. Clement was "severely intoxicated" on alcohol, along with "multiple substances," he said.
Clement "put a number of people at risk of harm," Finnegan said. Both her vehicle and Kuzyk's cruiser suffered serious damage, he said.
Attorney Eric Fink said his client had "no intent to injure the officers or members of the public" when she fled from a traffic stop on Ravenna's east side, but took responsibility for her actions.
Clement was "shocked by what she was accused of and what happened" when he first met with her, and has been sober for 149 days since she was first booked into the Portage County jail, Fink said.
Along with granting Clement credit for time served awaiting trial, Pittman also fined her $1,500, ordered her to pay $534 in court costs and suspended her driver's license for four years.
Rawlea - The license suspension runs during her prison term. There has been a recent move in the legislature to change this.
Thanks for the question,
" suspended her driver's license for four years." Does this mean that she will not be able to drive while in Jail, or after she gets out in 7 years?