Tuesday, April 27, 1999
Driver admits 2nd DUI-related death
First victim's mother sits in on hearing
BY DAN HORN
The Cincinnati Enquirer
After watching Mark Putnick walk out of court 11 years ago, Martha Farrelly knew he would return.
She was just hoping someone else's son wouldn't have to die before he did.
But when Mr. Putnick went back to court Monday, Mrs. Farrelly heard him plead guilty to a painfully familiar crime that had claimed the life of another young man.
The latest case, like the one before, involved Mr. Putnick drinking too much alcohol and going for a drive.
I was horrified to find out he'd done it again, said Mrs. Farrelly, whose son, Matthew, was killed in 1988. That was our fear.
She sat in a Hamilton County Common Pleas courtroom Monday as Mr. Putnick pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and aggravated vehicular homicide in the death of Timothy Trader, 21.
Prosecutors say Mr. Trader of Eaton had stopped with a friend on Jan. 1 to help a motorist who had been in an accident on Ohio 128 in Crosby Township.
As Mr. Trader and his friend, 20-year-old Robert Bulach, stood near a disabled Chevrolet Blazer, Mr. Putnick's car slammed into the vehicle.
The impact killed Mr. Trader and seriously injured Mr. Bulach.
Authorities said Mr. Putnick failed a sobriety test and admitted drinking five beers.
For Mrs. Farrelly, the case is all too similar to the one involving her own son, who was 22 at the time. The fatal collision, which occurred on a Virginia highway, led to a conviction on involuntary manslaughter charges against Mr. Putnick.
She said she was upset to learn that Mr. Putnick was driving again in another state, and shocked to hear he had been involved in another fatality.
We never understood why this took place, she said Monday. We felt the justice system had abandoned us.
She said she is more optimistic this time.
In the latest case, Mr. Putnick is facing a total of five years in prison for the involuntary manslaughter and vehicular homicide charges. He also faces 18 months for vehicular assault.
Under Ohio law, an additional 10 years could be imposed if Judge John O'Connor finds that Mr. Putnick is a repeat violent offender.
Mr. Putnick's attorney, Cathy Adams, said she believes the law does not apply because the previous offense was not in Ohio.
Prosecutors say it shouldn't matter. Both sides will argue the issue prior to Mr. Putnick's sentencing on June 9.
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