Thursday, June 22, 2000

Driver gets top penalty for death

Running down radio newsman costs her 5 years

By Mara H. Gottfried
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A North College Hill woman received the maximum sentence Wednesday for the traffic death of a former radio news director and father of eight.

        Elizabeth Pease, 23, will serve five years in the Ohio State Reformatory for Women. She has no chance of parole for causing the death of Doug Doench of Groesbeck, whose on-air name at WUBE-FM was Doug Anthony.

        Judge Robert Ruehlman also suspended Ms. Pease's driver's license for three years.

        The suspension will run concurrently with her sentence.

        Mr. Doench's wife, Janice, five of his children and other family members attended the sentencing in the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court.

        “Me and my entire family don't think (the five-year sentence is) enough, but it was the most the judge could give her,” Mrs. Doench said.

        Mr. Doench, 57, was walking Nov. 21 to get the morning newspaper at a store near his home.

        Prosecutors said Ms. Pease's car swerved off West Galbraith Road and struck Mr. Doench on the sidewalk.

        One of Mr. Doench's children, William, 19, addressed Judge Ruehlman Wednesday.

        “I basically said that it seemed to me that Ms. Pease was in a pattern of behavior that wasn't going to stop until someone got

        killed,” the Clifton resident said.

        Prosecutors said Ms. Pease had traces of marijuana and cocaine in her system at the time.

        Ms. Pease, an epileptic, might have had a seizure that day.

        She was reckless, prosecutors said, because she failed to take her seizure medication the day of the accident, and cocaine could have increased her risk of having a seizure.

        Prosecutor Mike Allen said the sentence was appropriate.

        “It was a horrible tragedy and hopefully this will begin the healing process for the victim's family,” he said.

        Mr. Doench, who graduated from Xavier University with a degree in English, was a news director at the radio station.

        He also coached youth soccer for 20 years and had coached the Groesbeck Raiders in a tournament game the day before his death.


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